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Environ Res. 2009 Oct;109(7):930-6. doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2009.07.002. Epub 2009 Aug 4.

Lead levels in new enamel household paints from Asia, Africa and South America.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Health, University of Cincinnati, 2180 East Galbraith Road, Cincinnati, OH 45237-1625, USA. clarkcs@ucmail.uc.edu

Abstract

In 2006 a report on the analysis for lead in 80 new residential paints from four countries in Asia revealed high levels in three of the countries (China, India and Malaysia) and low levels in a fourth country (Singapore) where a lead in paint regulation was enforced. The authors warned of the possible export of lead-painted consumer products to the United States and other countries and the dangers the lead paint represented to children in the countries where it was available for purchase. The need for a worldwide ban on the use of lead in paints was emphasized to prevent an increase in exposure and disease from this very preventable environmental source. Since the earlier paper almost 300 additional new paint samples have been collected from the four initial countries plus 8 additional countries, three from Asia, three from Africa and two from South America. During the intervening time period two million toys and other items imported into the United States were recalled because the lead content exceeded the United States standard. High lead paints were detected in all 12 countries. The average lead concentration by country ranged from 6988 (Singapore) to 31,960ppm (Ecuador). One multinational company sold high lead paint in one country through January 2007 but sold low lead paint later in 2007 indicating that a major change to cease adding lead to their paints had occurred. However, the finding that almost one-third of the samples would meet the new United States standard for new paint of 90ppm, suggests that the technology is already available in at least 11 of the 12 countries to produce low lead enamel paints for domestic use. The need remains urgent to establish effective worldwide controls to prevent the needless poisoning of millions of children from this preventable exposure.

PMID:
19656507
DOI:
10.1016/j.envres.2009.07.002
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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