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J Occup Environ Hyg. 2013;10(5):243-9. doi: 10.1080/15459624.2013.768934.

Lead concentrations and labeling of new paint in cameroon.

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Occupational Knowledge International, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA.


In spite of the availability of substitutes for lead compounds used in paints, manufacturers continue to produce these paints for decorative and industrial applications. We report here on the concentration of lead in new paint sold in Cameroon and provide a summary of labeling practices on paints available in the country, based on a market survey. Investigators visited 76 retail and wholesale paint suppliers in Cameroon to collect information from paint product labels and to collect samples of paints to analyze for lead content. Only 8.5% of paints had labels identifying any of the ingredients, and none of the lead paints included any warning language. Based on a convenience sample (weighted to include multiple colors from the most common brands), 61 mostly enamel paints were purchased from retail outlets and analyzed for lead content (median: 2150 ppm; range: <21-500,000 ppm). Sixty-six percent of the new paint samples had concentrations exceeding the U.S. standard of 90 ppm total lead. All but one of the samples with lead concentrations greater than 90 ppm were also greater than 600 ppm. The largest manufacturer in the country-Seigneurie, a subsidiary of the U.S.-based company PPG-had significant lead concentrations in 9 out of 22 (41%) paints tested. There is an immediate need to adopt mandatory standards to limit the lead content of paint manufactured, imported, and sold in the country. To promote safer paint products we recommend the development of a third-party certification program for paints without added lead. These recommendations are consistent with the objectives of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint established under the auspices of the United Nations to address this problem on a global scale.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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