Paints in Kenya have dangerous levels of lead, study shows

Is your house or building painted with a solvent paint? Then you might want to pay a little more attention.

There is at least a 71 per cent chance that the coat on your wall contains dangerously high amounts of lead.

According to a report released Tuesday by Centre for Environment Justice and Development (CEJAD), an environmental justice watchdog, 71 per cent of paint brands sold in Kenya have dangerously high lead concentrations of above 10,000 parts per million (ppm).

This translates to 15 out of 21 tested brands manufactured and supplied in the country.

An international UNEP resolution in 2015 agreed that African countries should adopt a lead limit for all paints of 90 (ppm).

Ironically, the highest lead concentration of 160,000 ppm was detected in a yellow paint produced for home use, and advertised as ‘lead free’.

These levels are as high as 16 per cent of the paint, and almost 18, 000 times the allowed limit of 0.009 per cent (90ppm).

This is also the maximum allowed level in the two paint standards adopted, but yet to be gazetted by the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS).

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