2019 Update on the Global Status of Legal Limits on Lead in Paint


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As of 30 September 2019, 73 countries have legally binding controls to limit the production, import and sale of lead paints, which is 38% of all countries. In many countries, using lead paint in homes and schools is not prohibited, creating a significant risk of children’s exposure to lead. The most effective means of preventing lead exposure from paints is to establish national laws, including legislation, regulations and/or legally binding standards as appropriate, that ban the use of lead additives in paints. Countries that have not yet done so are urged to enact and enforce effective national legislation, regulations and/or standards to, at a minimum, stop the manufacture, import and sale of household decorative lead paints. Countries are also encouraged to consider limiting lead in all types of paints.

This update is provided annually by the United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) in support of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (Lead Paint Alliance). UN Environment and the World Health Organization (WHO) serve as the joint Secretariat for this international voluntary, collaborative initiative (see Endnote 1). The goal of the Lead Paint Alliance is for all countries to have lead paint laws in place by 2020.

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