EARTH Thailand

Lead in New Enamel Household Paints in Thailand

Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH), European Union, IPEN, June 2015

Leaded paints for home use continue to be widely produced, sold and used in developing countries despite the fact that most highly industrial countries banned leaded house paints more than 40 years ago.

In 2007 and 2008, NGOs in the IPEN network collected and analyzed decorative (home use) paints on the market in 11 developing countries, and in countries with economies in transition. The results were startling. In every one of these countries, many of the paints had dangerously high lead content. In response, IPEN launched a worldwide lead paint elimination campaign. Since then, IPEN-affiliated NGOs and others have sampled and analyzed paints on the market in approximately 40 low- and middle-income countries.  In every country where there was no law or regulation prohibiting, the paints had high, and often dangerously high, lead contents.

This 2015 National Report on Lead Paint presents new data on the lead content of decorative enamel paints that are offered for sale in the Thai market. This is the third time that Ecological Alert and Recovery - Thailand (EARTH) has analyzed paints sold in Thailand for their lead content. Previous studies were conducted in 2010 (31 enamel paints from 29 brands) and 2013 (120 enamel paints from 68 brands). These studies found that Thai children and consumers continue to be exposed to dangerously high levels of lead content in enamel paints. In the 2010 study, 81 percent of paints sampled contained lead above the Thai voluntary standard of 100 parts per million (ppm, dry weight of the paint), and more than half or 55 percent of paints sampled contained lead above 10,000 ppm. In 2013, a more extensive sampling study was conducted, following a national paint market survey with the purpose of including as many paint brands and paint manufacturers as possible. The 2013 study found similar results: 79 percent of samples contained lead above the voluntary standard of 100 ppm, and almost half or 40 percent of samples contained lead above 10,000 ppm.

In addition to new data on lead in paint, this report also present background information on why the present and former use of decorative enamel paint with high lead content is a source of serious concern, especially to children’s health. It also proposes action steps by different stakeholders to protect children and others from lead paint and lead dust.

Download the Report