Lead Content Must Be Monitored In India Too: Report

by Ann Samuel on September 13, 2007 at 2:34 PM
Lead Content Must Be Monitored In India Too: Report

According to a report published by NGO Toxics Link, paints in India are dangerously high on lead a metal that is known to adversely affect health in several ways.

Despite the issue being raised several times earlier, and some countries banning the metal in interior paints as early as 1909, India is yet to take concrete steps to control the menace. The environment ministry and central pollution control board are still in the midst of formulating a plan to first limit and then phase out lead content from paint completely.


India is supposed to conform to a maximum limit of 1,000 parts per million (PPM) or .1% of a total lead content. Even this limit is sadly, voluntary. Meanwhile, countries like the United States and Singapore have a limit of 600 ppm and even this figure is under review. China in the news for its high lead toys, incidentally, has a standard of 90 ppm.

The study by Toxics Link examined samples of plastic and enamel paints picked up mostly in Delhi and some from Mumbai. Of these, most oil-based enamel paints were found to contain lead ranging from 25 ppm to 14,000 ppm. In effect, 83.87% of the enamel samples had lead content ranging from 600 ppm to 14,000 ppm. Since plastic paints were found to contain low concentrations of lead, of the total samples tested, 38% were found to contain high concentrations of lead.

Says lead author Dr Abhay Kumar: "Lead is used in paints to impart color and make it durable, corrosion resistant and to improve drying. However, there are many substitutes available for lead and keeping in mind the health risks it poses, the government needs to bring in immediate steps to regulate lead standards."

In the recent scare where plastic toys were found to contain high levels of toxic metals, paints were held culprit. According to industry sources, the toxicity stemmed not so much from the material of the toys as from the paints used to coat them with.

Most of the paint samples studied were products of well-known, international companies. "What is surprising then is the fact that while these companies have to stick to the limits prescribed by individual countries, no such regulations are adhered to for India, basically because lead is a viable option for producers and there is no monitoring mechanism here," bemoans Ravi Agarwal, director, Toxics Link.

According to doctors, children are most susceptible to lead poisoning since it is most easily absorbed into tissues of growing children. Lead dust has a sweet flavor and often sees children eating paint chips or chewing plastic toys. A single chip of paint the size of a thumbnail contains 1 gm of lead.

Source: Medindia
Font : A-A+



Latest Environmental Health

 COP28 Bats for Importance of Health Amid Climate Change
COP28 along with WHO announced 'COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health' to protect people's health from the impending climate change.
Is Climate Change Impacting Brain Function?
The latest study underscores the significant influence that an individual's environment can exert on their brain.
How Soap Help Combat Malaria-Spreading Mosquitos?
The efficiency of pesticides was improved by adding small amounts of liquid soap, that tackles malaria-spreading mosquitos resistant to current pesticides.
Climate Change Drives Bat Expansion and Rabies Risk in the US
A new study links vampire bats' range expansion to climate shifts and potential implications for rabies transmission.
How Rush-Hour Air Pollution Raises Blood Pressure?
There are high amounts of ultrafine particles in unfiltered rush-hour air, which significantly elevates the blood pressure of the passengers.
View All
This site uses cookies to deliver our services.By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use  Ok, Got it. Close

Lead Content Must Be Monitored In India Too: Report Personalised Printable Document (PDF)

Please complete this form and we'll send you a personalised information that is requested

You may use this for your own reference or forward it to your friends.

Please use the information prudently. If you are not a medical doctor please remember to consult your healthcare provider as this information is not a substitute for professional advice.

Name *

Email Address *

Country *

Areas of Interests