Lead based paints have since long been associated with elevated blood lead levels in children and a cause of serious health concern. Scientific evidences have established that children are the most vulnerable population and can be seriously impacted even at very low levels of lead in blood. The adverse effects of lead exposure in children include intellectual and behavioral deficits making lead exposure an important public health concern with huge social and economic cost to nations.
A 2015 report by Toxics Link has found the average lead content in paint to be 38,140 ppm. Of the 111 paint samples analyzed from all over India; 14 samples were from Maharashtra.
Analysis of Maharashtra data (14 samples)
The highest concentration detected was 127,000 ppm. Only one paint of these qualified for sale on the international market which had low (below 90 ppm) lead concentrations, as per the international standards. The results of the current study are no different from a similar study conducted in 2013.
The issue of lead in paints is a global issue. Many countries across the world have either phased out lead from paints or have restricted the use of lead in paints. In December 2013 Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) revised the standards for lead in decorative paints to 90 ppm, in line with the international standards. Quality Council of India (QCI), in partnership with Toxics Link and IPEN, has prepared the Third Party Certification Scheme for Lead Safe Paints. The issue has also been accepted by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare as a public health issue.
Toxics Link has been working on the issue of Lead in Paints since 2006 and campaigning for lead safe paints in India as well as in South Asian region. As a result, many major brands as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in India have limited the lead content in decorative paints to 90 ppm. However, many SMEs are yet to reduce the levels of lead content in there paints. The issue is also a part of the European Union SWITCH Asia project currently being implemented in seven South and South East Asian countries.
Toxics Link, New Delhi in association with Almanac, Mumbai is organizing a half-day roundtable meet with various stakeholders on 04 June, 2015 at The Press Club, Glass House, Azad Maidan, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai.
The discussion points for the meeting are as follows:
1. To discuss on the existing situation of lead in paints in the state/city
2. To indentify the bottlenecks faced by paint manufacturers in shifting to lead safe paints
3. To introduce the concept of third party certification for lead levels in paints
You are an important stakeholder on the issue of elimination of lead from paints. We believe your valuable inputs will have immense help in this deliberation to take the issues forward.
We would highly appreciate a line of confirmation in this regard.
Date - 4th June 2015
Venue - The Press Club, Glass House, Azad Maidan, Mahapalika Marg, Mumbai