Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) notifies lead standards in paints to 90 ppm
Source: Toxics Link, Date: February , 2014
Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has revised and notified the voluntary lead
standards in paints to 90 ppm (IS 133: 2013). The apex standard making body of
India formulated standard for lead in paints in 1950 and till 2004, these
remained as 1000 pm.
Link, an environmental non-profit organisation, in its successive studies on
lead content in Indian household paints, found that the lead content was much
higher than 1000 ppm. With these figures, the organization stepped up the
campaign for bringing the lead standard to 90 ppm, the limit accepted by other
is a heavy metal used extensively in the manufacture of paints. Its color
vibrancy, ability to hold pigments, resistance to corrosion, and quick drying
time makes it a very useful product during production of paints. But the fact
remains that lead is harmful to human health and environment. Scientific
evidences have established that children and pregnant women are most
vulnerable, as very low levels of lead in blood can also be harmful. In
developing countries like India, paints are the major sources of lead exposure.
importantly, the BIS committee has taken cognizance of the fact that lead
exposure to human being, particularly children in residential premises is
injurious to health and has adverse impact on human health. However the new
standard notified by BIS is voluntary in nature, which may not serve the
purpose. Thus, Toxics Link continues to fight for the lead in paints standards
to be made mandatory.
use of lead has been severely restricted in many developed countries across the
world. In South Asian region, Sri Lanka came up with stringent mandatory
standards for lead content in paints on 1 January 2013. Recognizing
the increasing menace caused by Lead and the necessity to curb its usage, the
Philippines Government came up with a Chemical Control Order which establishes 90
parts per million (ppm) as the maximum permissible limit for lead in paint and
set a phase-out period of three years for leaded decorative paints and six
years for leaded industrial paints.