Lead in paints

March 12, 2010

Modern houses are full of harmful chemicals. One of them is lead, present in paints. Though several countries have banned the use of this substance India is yet to do so, which is why paint makers use them. Inhaling lead dust while performing mundane chores like opening or closing windows is the most common source of lead poisoning. The human body is not designed to process lead. Young children are particularly vulnerable to lead as it can damage the central nervous system and the brain.

So the Centre for Science and Environment in a two phase study conducted in 2008 and 2009 tested popular brands of Indian paints to check the quantity of lead. The results show that a majority of the samples contained lead above the voluntary standard of 1,000 ppm set by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

If lead is so poisonous why do paint makers continue to use it? The reasons are not hard to comprehend. Using lead susbtitutes increases the cost and also reduces paint performance.  So what will it take the industry to stop using this toxic material-mandatory standards which is what CSE has been asking the government to establish.