While the world is celebrating the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, the European Commission (EC) is being challenged on its recent decision to authorize Dominion Colour Corporation to supply red and yellow lead chromate pigments for use in the EU in so-called industrial paint.
Lead chromates are composed of lead, a neurotoxin which harms the nervous system, and chromium, a carcinogen causing lung tumours. Children are particularly vulnerable to lead exposure and the health effects are generally irreversible and have a lifelong impact. Lead chromates are also extremely toxic to aquatic life. The use of these toxic paint components has been abandoned for decades in many EU countries and many paint companies have publicly stated that safer alternatives do exist and that they have been using them for years.
The international lead poisoning prevention week of action takes place between 23 – 29 October, with the aim of raising awareness of the health and other risks posed by lead and what can be done to combat them. This year’s theme focuses on lead in paint – the greatest risk of exposure for humans.