Since 2007, NGOs associated with the IPEN network have collected and analyzed decorative paints for sale on the market in 30 developing countries and countries with economies in transition. In every one of these countries, if there was no national law or regulation in force to control the lead content of paints, the majority of the enamel decorative paints for sale on the market contained lead levels above 600 parts per million (ppm). Many of the paints contained more than 10,000 ppm lead and would be prohibited for sale or use in virtually all highly industrial countries. In almost all cases however, the consumer had no way to tell which of the enamel decorative paints for sale contained added lead and which did not.
This short booklet discusses many aspects related to the sources, uses, exposures and health effects of lead, and suggests frameworks for its elimination from paint marketed throughout the world.