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Lead Paint Still Widely Available Despite Global Phase-Out

(Gothenburg, Sweden) A new report from IPEN, with data on lead in paint from almost 60 countries, shows that in 25 out of 27 countries that adopted protective legal limits on lead in paint since 2008, the work of non-governmental organizations was key in moving forward standards, regulation, and enforcement. Countries without enforced regulations in place still had lead paint available on the market, posing health risks to children and other vulnerable groups.

A survey from the World Health Organization shows that lead paint is still not regulated in a majority of countries, despite a global goal to phase out these paints by the year 2020. As of 31 May 2020, only 39% of countries had confirmed that they have legally binding controls on lead paint. In addition, many of these regulations are not protective enough since they include exemptions, lax limits, or are not enforced.

During the eighth annual International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, beginning October 25, 2020, activities by NGOs in 36 countries will celebrate success and highlight urgent needs for additional action.

Over the past 12 years, NGOs have led national campaigns and provided momentum to the process of developing new or strengthened legislations in almost 50 countries. A key conclusion based on the IPEN analysis of more than 3,500 solvent-based paints is clear: NGOs in collaboration with country stakeholders from government, industry, and civil society, are very effective in supporting country action to adopt lead paint regulations and ultimately eliminate lead paint.

“It is encouraging to see countries adopting new, strong laws to ban lead paint and the critical role that public interest groups have played in facilitating fruitful collaboration with other stakeholders. NGOs bring a unique citizens’ perspective and experience to the table and have been instrumental in moving the goal of eliminating lead paint forward nationally, regionally, and globally,” said Manny Calonzo, IPEN Advisor, and winner of the Goldman Environmental Prize for his alliance work in the Philippines with the NGO EcoWaste Coalition.

Read the the Global Lead Elimination Report 2020 for more.