Lead in Paint
Non-leaded pigments, driers and anti-corrosive agents have been widely available for decades and are used by manufacturers producing the highest quality paints. In most cases, by avoiding the use of lead pigments, lead driers and other intentionally added lead compounds, a paint manufacturer will produce paints that have lead content well below 90 ppm and that can be sold in any country in the world.
Paints contain lead when the paint manufacturer intentionally adds one or more lead compounds to the paint for some purpose. A paint product may also contain some amount of lead when paint ingredients that are contaminated with lead are used or when there is cross contamination from other product lines in the same factory.
Children are not generally exposed to lead from paint while the paint is still in the can or when the paint is being newly applied to a previously unpainted or uncoated surface. Rather, lead exposure generally occurs after the lead paint has already dried on the wall or on the article that has been painted.
IPEN has demonstrated that leaded paints for home use continue to be widely produced, sold and used in developing countries despite the fact that most highly industrial countries banned leaded house paints more than 40 years ago. IPEN’s global campaign to eliminate leaded paint raises awareness that childhood exposure remains a serious problem and has catalyzed national activity in a number of developing countries to eliminate leaded paint and protect children.