Research and Advocacy :India has a growing market for decorative paints and Toxics Link began its work against lead in paints with the launch of its report “A Brush with Toxics: An Investigation on Lead in Household Paints in India” in 2007. This was followed with three more reports on lead in paints issue to investigate the extent of lead content in decorative paints found in India and other developing countries The Global Study of 2009 was to determine lead in new decorative paints from 10 countries, the report “Double Standards”- released in 2011 was an investigative report on lead content in leading enamel paint brands in South Asia. All these reports are based on empirical analysis of samples in an accredited laboratory.
Several factsheets and other IEC materials have been prepared and widely distributed across a range of stakeholders. Apart from the information dissemination there has been a number of meetings on the issue and several interface sessions with a range of audience. Numerous lectures have been delivered in the schools and colleges.
Policy Intervention :Reports and information materials on lead in paints issues have been widely circulated among the regulators and government agencies. The issue was raised in the parliament of India and answers were sought from the concerned ministries. The Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) happens to be our major stakeholder for intervention in this campaign. Through information exchange and other engagements such as meetings, Toxics Link strengthened advocacy with BIS to formulate lead standards for paints in India. It resulted in BIS notifying the draft standards for all categories of paints in July 2012 and again in November 2012.
Toxics Link has been actively campaigning in the South Asia on the issue of chemicals safety through a chain of regional partners. The report ‘Double Standard” has raised debate and discussions in the countries like Nepal, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. After the report is being released, Sri Lanka formulated a mandatory standards for the decorative paints (ranging from 90ppm to 300ppm).