Report reveals dangerous levels of lead in paints

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

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 by Centre for Environment Justice and Development (CEJAD), an environmental justice watchdog, on Tuesday 71 per cent of paint brands sold in Kenya have more than one lead paint with dangerously high lead concentrations of above 10,000 parts per million (ppm).

That is 15 out of 21 tested brands manufacturing and supplying paint in the country.


Also, at least 19 out of the 21 analysed brands accounting for 90 per cent of paint brands, are manufacturing and releasing into the consumer market, at least one lead paint with total lead concentration of above 90 ppm.

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 by Molar Enamel Paint for home use, and advertised as ‘lead free’.

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

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

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