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Toxics Alert, an environment news bulletin from toxics link Toxics Link
Issue 85
, 2019
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High Lead found in paints, who is responsible?

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2019

Lead, a toxic heavy metal is being used in enamel paints to enhance the beauty of that paint (such as durability, glossiness, antifungal and antibacterial properties, etc.). But its wide usage may cause many human and environmental health hazards. Being a cumulative toxicant, it causes Lead poisoning in humans, thus accumulating in the body and targeting specially our neurological system, putting young children and pregnant women at a higher risk.

Research studies have shown that many paint manufacturers in India phased out lead from enamel paints in 2009 but still there were some paints which were having very high lead levels and that was specifically produced by small and medium paints manufacturers.

The government of India notified the “Regulation on Lead contents in Household and Decorative Paints Rules, 2016” on 1st November, 2016 which came into force from 1st November, 2017.

     A research study conducted by Toxics Link in 2018[1] for the SMEs enamel paint samples manufactured after the date of commencement of the lead in paint rule 2016 showed very high amount of lead in 17 on 20 tested samples. A paint can (SMEs) labeled with ‘no added lead’ also showed the lead level to be 60 times more than the prescribed standard of 90 ppm. This left us with the question as to why after the compliance of lead in paint rule there is still production of lead-based paints in the country, why and who is responsible? 

Dr. Prashant Rajankar,