The Test Results
effectively in India, and that companies are willing and able to make the shift. Additionally, BIS revised voluntary paint standard downward from 1,000 ppm to 90 ppm, suggesting that government officials too are aware of the dangers of lead in paint. However, small manufacturers accounting for about 30 per cent of the market share continue to sell paints with dangerously high concentration of lead. These producers often face special barriers in shifting to low-lead products and may require additional technical information, better access to supp liers of non-leaded paint ingredients, and other types of help in reformulating their products. Also, all lead-containing paints that were used in the past decades continue to present a threat when the surfaces where they were applied deteriorates or are scraped or sanded prior to the application of new paints. The lead content mixes in the air and is inhaled by people in its surroundings.
A total of 101 cans of new enamel decorative paints were purchased in Delhi-NCR, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat, and analysed for their lead content. A majority of these paint samples, 70 out of 101, were produced by small and medium businesses and found to have high lead content when tested in 2013.
In the same 2013 study, since all paints produced by major brands (representing 65 per cent of the market) contained lead levels below 90 ppm, the current study focussed on paints with lead levels above 90 ppm in order to determine whether smalland medium-sized paint businesses had begun to reduce lead levels in their paints. In addition, 31 new samples were added to the current study.
In general, there was very little, if any, change in lead levels in the studied paint samples between 2013 and 2015. In fact, none of the brands tested in 2013 bothered to decrease the lead concentrations. Moreover, the average concentration of lead content has only increased in 2015 to 30,000 ppm, as compared to 20,300 ppm in 2013.