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Environ Res. 2006 Sep;102(1):9-12. Epub 2006 Jun 16.

The lead content of currently available new residential paint in several Asian countries.

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1
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45267, USA. clarkcs@uc.edu

Abstract

Worldwide prohibitions on lead gasoline additives were a major international public health accomplishment, the results of which are still being documented in parts of the world. Although the need to remove lead from paints has been recognized for over a century, evidence reported in this article indicates that lead-based paints for household use, some containing more than 10% lead, are readily available for purchase in some of the largest countries in the world. Sixty-six percent of new paint samples from China, India, and Malaysia were found to contain 5000 ppm (0.5%) or more of lead, the US definition of lead-based paint in existing housing, and 78% contained 600 ppm (0.06%) or more, the limit for new paints. In contrast, the comparable levels in a nearby developed country, Singapore, were 0% and 9%. In examining lead levels in paints of the same brands purchased in different countries, it was found that some brands had lead-based paints in one of the countries and paints meeting US limits in another; another had lead-free paint available in all countries where samples were obtained. Lead-based paints have already poisoned millions of children and likely will cause similar damage in the future as paint use increases as countries in Asia and elsewhere continue their rapid development. The ready availability of lead-based paints documented in this article provides stark evidence of the urgent need for efforts to accomplish an effective worldwide ban on the use of lead in paint.

PMID:
16782088
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2005.11.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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