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Lead-based consumer paint remains a global public health threat
Date:8/4/2009

CINCINNATIAlthough lead content in paint has been restricted in the United States since 1978, University of Cincinnati (UC) environmental health researchers say in major countries from three continents there is still widespread failure to acknowledge its danger and companies continue to sell consumer paints that contain dangerous levels of lead.

In a new study, Scott Clark, PhD, and his team have found that approximately 73 percent of consumer paint brands tested from 12 countries representing 46 percent of the world's population exceeded current U.S. standard of 600 parts per million (ppm) for lead in paint. In addition, 69 percent of the brands had at least one sample exceeding 10,000 ppm. With the majority of American consumer goods being produced overseas, Clark says that lead paint exposure remains a serious global health threat.

"A global ban on lead-based paint is drastically needed to protect the more than three billion people who may be exposed in the countries allowing distribution of lead-containing paints as well as Americans unintentionally exposed through consumer products exported to the United States," says Clark, a professor of environmental health at UC and principal investigator of the study.

The UC team reports their findings in the journal Environmental Research online ahead of publication on Aug. 4, 2009. The report comes on the tail of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's enforcement of heightened restrictions on lead in American consumer paints, which will take effect Aug. 9, 2009, and will lower the allowable lead limit from 600 parts per million (ppm) to 90 ppm.

"This revised standard for lead in consumer paint is grossly overdue," adds Clark. "The previous limit of 600 ppm for lead in new pant was established more than 30 years ago when the blood-lead level of concern was much higher than at present. Modern research has shown that children are affected at very low exposure
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Contact: Amanda Harper
amanda.harper@uc.edu
513-558-4657
University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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