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A Toxics-Free Future


Lead in Solvent-Based Paints in Indonesia

In 2020-2021, The Nexus3 team randomly sampled 120 cans of solvent-based paints and industrial paints sold for home use from stores in 10 cities of Indonesia. The paints represented 66 different brands produced by 47 manufacturers.

The analytical study providing data to this report was undertaken as part of IPEN´s Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaign. It was conducted in Indonesia by Nexus3 Foundation in partnership with IPEN (International Pollutants Elimination Network) and funded by GiveWell, and the Swedish Government.

Key findings of the 2021 study include:

  • 88 out of 120 analyzed paints for home use and industrial purposes (73 percent of paints) were lead paints, i.e., they contained lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm, of dry weight paint);
  • 47 paints (39 percent of paints) contained extremely high lead concentrations above 10,000 ppm. The highest lead concentrations detected were 250,000 ppm in a yellow road-line industrial paint and 150,000 ppm in a yellow decorative paint sold for home use;
  • 23 out of 101 solvent-based paints for home use (23 percent of paints) contained lead concentrations at or below 90 ppm, suggesting that the technology to produce paint without lead ingredients exists in Indonesia;
  • Two paints from Primatan brand contained 12,000 ppm and 8,900 ppm lead levels despite having a “no added lead” claim on its labels; and
  • The most dangerous levels of lead tended to be in orange (91%), yellow (55%), green (57%), and red (20%) colored paints.
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