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New guidelines to support SMEs to phase out lead from paint manufacturing

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Geneva, 25 May 2022 – Paint reformulation is entirely possible, and the industry can produce paint without added lead. However, a lack of technical knowledge; a lack of awareness of the health and environmental hazard of lead and where to source lead-free alternatives, as well as a shortage of lead paint laws in the countries where they are based mean many small manufacturers around the world are still producing hazardous lead paint. Newly released Lead Paint Reformulation Technical Guidelines aim to ensure small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are part of the effort to reformulate paint and eliminate lead in paint permanently.

Lead paint is still used around the world for decoration in homes and schools, road marking, glazes or for its anticorrosive properties. To date, 84 countries have regulations in place and the regional disparities are quite marked: 81% of countries in Europe and 100% in North America have legal limits on lead in place, compared to only 13% in Africa, 31% in Asia Pacific and 42% in Latin America and the Caribbean. As 58 % of the market share of the global paint market is composed of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is important to ensure that they are key players in the reformulation effort.


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