Seven countries in Asia eliminate lead from commercial paints
The project impact sheet provides a brief information on the project's challenges, activities, scaling up strategies and results.
When the project started, the majority of solvent-based, decorative enamel paint from leading brands analysed in the seven participating countries contained high lead levels. At the conclusion of the project in June 2015, the market-leading brands in all seven countries had eliminated lead from their decorative paint, as had many smaller manufacturers.
Two participating countries, Nepal and Philippines, have established mandatory limits on lead in paint of 90 parts per million (ppm) total lead (dry weight) - as protective as any regulatory control in force anywhere in the world. The Nepalese standard requires information on paint can labels about lead concentrations and a precautionary message about avoiding lead exposure during repainting and building renovation. The Philippine paint regulation covers both industrial and decorative paint, making it the most rigorous regulation in the world.
In Sri Lanka, additional legislation demanding lead content labelling of paint cans was enacted to enforce the existing lead paint legislation, which came into force just before the start of the project. Now, 90% of the brands on the market comply with the 600 ppm legal limit.
In the other four countries, Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, and Thailand, mandatory regulations to control lead in paint were in development. Senior public officials have indicated support for lead paint regulation, and the project expects their formal adoption soon. However, paint manufacturers have quickly taken initiative; in each of these countries, market leaders have reformulated their paint to meet the proposed new standards.