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.
The Centre for Environmental Justice (CEJ) first started working on Lead (Pb) paint elimination back in 2009. Ever since, CEJ engaged in advocacy, research, awareness and campaigning in order to make the Sri Lankan paint market lead safe. The purpose of this study was to monitor whether decorative paints with high lead levels are still being sold in Sri Lanka eight years after government restrictions were imposed in 2013.
Six IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) in South and Southeast Asia conducted new analytical studies on solvent-based paints, including industrial paints, that are sold in the local market. The studies show that lead paints are still manufactured and/or sold in countries where lead paint laws exist such as in Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam, and moreso in Indonesia which has yet to adopt a legally binding lead paint law. The results, released during the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, justify the POs’ continuing campaign to ban the manufacture, import, export, distribution, sale, and use of all lead-containing paints to protect human health and the environment.
Quezon City, Philippines The results of a new analytical study by the EcoWaste Coalition and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN) on the lead content of industrial paints being traded in the Philippines provide a compelling basis to strengthen compliance monitoring to the country’s lead paint ban.
In 2002, the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development called for the phase-out of lead-based paints.
In 2009, the International Conference on Chemicals Management asked UNEP and WHO to establish a global partnership to promote phasing out lead in paint.
The United Nations Environmental Assembly and the World Health Assembly both have called upon governments to establish national controls on lead in paints.
In this same time period, we have achieved the global phase-out of leaded automobile fuels—a goal announced in 2002 at the same Johannesburg World Summit that called for the global phase-out of lead paints.
Why, after nearly 20 years, have we not eliminated lead paint globally?
According to the World Health Organization, lead is one of the ten heavy metals that need most attention to human health, especially children. It is estimated that in 2000, around 120 million people worldwide were exposed to lead, of which mainly children, each year an additional 600,000 children were recorded intellectually affected and 143,000 deaths were reported, due to lead exposure, especially in developing countries.
Most highly industrial countries adopted laws or regulations to control the lead content of decorative paints—the paints used on the interiors and exteriors of homes, schools, and other child-occupied facilities—beginning in the 1970s and 1980s. In Bangladesh, ESDO has been working with key government agencies since 2010 to establish a specific regulation on lead in paint. ESDO has prepared a draft regulatory framework and guideline, and submitted it to the Department of Environment (DOE).
IPEN POs Step Up Campaign for Global Phase-Out of Lead Paints in time for the 9th International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
Thursday, 21 October 2021
Forty-eight IPEN Participating Organizations (POs) from 35 countries will take part in the upcoming International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (ILPPW) on 24-30 October 2021. With the theme “Working Together for a World Without Lead Paint,” various activities will be carried out to emphasize the need to accelerate progress toward the global phase-out of lead-containing paints through regulatory and legal measures. Additionally, IPEN will organize a webinar on “Catalyzing the Global Phase-Out of Lead Paints,” which will discuss how listing lead pigments in the Rotterdam Convention will advance global lead paint elimination; help countries adopt and enforce lead paint control regulations; and make exporting countries assume major responsibilities for the control of lead pigments and the lead paints that contain them.
Now on its ninth year, the week of action aims to raise awareness about the health effects of lead exposure; highlight the efforts of countries and partners to prevent lead exposure, particularly in children; and to urge further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level. The ILPPW, which counts on the participation of IPEN and many of its POs from low- and middle- income countries, is an initiative of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint, which is jointly led by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
Lead is a toxic metal that causes adverse effects on both human health and the environment. While lead exposure is also harmful to adults, lead exposure harms children at much lower levels, and the health effects are generally irreversible and can have a lifelong impact. Lead paint is a major source of childhood lead exposure.