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Issue 20
, 2009
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(Reviving the petition) Open appeal to the Prime Minister by the citizens of India to eliminate lead from paints

By: Toxics Link, Source: Toxics Link Website, Date: , 2009

Please sign the petition at

 Hon’ble Prime Minister,

We, the undersigned citizens of this country, do appeal to you to bring necessary legislations to eliminate the use of lead in paints, and thereby saving people especially children from significant health hazards associated with lead.

Countries of developed world moved long ago to eliminate lead from paints. Recently Intergovernmental Forum on Chemical Safety (IFCS), a body formed by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) adopted a resolution to eliminate lead from paints worldwide.

Lead is a known neuro-toxin, which can severely damage the brain and kidneys in adults or children and ultimately cause death. In pregnant women, high levels of exposure to lead may cause miscarriage. Even low levels of lead exposure to children cause a wide array of negative effects, including cognitive, motor, behavioral, and physical harm. There is no safe level of lead exposure. The new research findings reveal that long-term, low levels of lead exposure reduces children’s intelligence.

The most common source of lead exposure to children today is paints, found in homes, schools, parks, etc. As paint wears off, it contaminates the dust that clings to surfaces, toys and the fingers of children. Although children are known to eat paint chips, more commonly lead paints in and around homes contribute to dust and soil contamination that is often the most significant source of exposure for children. Children then ingest lead from playing close to the ground and having frequent hand-to-mouth contact. Significant exposure may also occur from lead paint when smaller particles become airborne during sanding and scrapping while repainting and remodeling. In addition, damaged paint and the weathering of paints on the exterior of buildings also contribute to lead in soil.

To investigate the problem globally, Recently Toxics Link an environmental NGO in partnership with IPEN conducted a global study to test paint for lead in local markets in countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The results confirmed that leaded paint is still being produced and sold, exposing children and communities to this toxic substance.

Toxics Link also conducted a study on levels of lead in various brands of paints available in India and found high concentrations of lead exceeding the globally accepted standards in all popular brands of enamel paints, but one. It also analysed household dusts for lead loadings in Delhi and found that a significant percent of samples exceeded the international standard. Unfortunately, India does not have a mandatory and globally accepted standard for lead in paints.

We, therefore, would like to urge upon you to do the needful for a globally accepted mandatory standards for lead concentrations in new paints in the country to ensure that our future generations remain protected from its serious health impacts.

Please sign the petition at