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Toxics Alert, an environment news bulletin from toxics link Toxics Link
Issue 50
, 2014
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Meeting of stakeholders on lead in paints

Source: Toxics Link, Date: , 2014

Toxics Link organized meeting of stakeholders to push for mandatory standards on lead in paints, at the India International Centre, New Delhi. The meeting was attended by various stakeholders, including officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Quality Council of India (QCI), ALL India Institute of Medical science (AIIMS), Consumer Groups and Medical Fraternity. The meeting becomes extremely significant if viewed from the wider context of uncontrolled use of lead in paints, in the country.

Serious concerns and the need for stricter measures were raised by most of the participants. The medical experts were all the more ardent - quoting from recent studies they emphasized upon high level of lead detected in children's blood. Though India has phased out lead from gasoline a long time ago, presence of lead in blood clearly indicates the need for stringent measures.

It may be recalled that a report released in November 2013 by Toxics Link “Nation Report - Lead in India’s Household Enamel Paints” found the average lead content in paint to be extremely high, and none of these paints would qualify for sale on the international market.

Recently, a trend is noticed among the bigger players in paint industry to reduce lead contents, but this practice is not followed by many Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), who get away in the absence of mandatory standards.