Serious health effects of lead poisoning have elicited global
campaign to eliminate lead use in paint. The major challenge is the dearth of
data on lead levels in paints from developing countries. Thus lead levels of
paints manufactured and sold in Nigerian market were studied. Lead
concentrations from 59 paint samples involving 10 different shades were
determined using flame atomic absorption spectrophotometer (AAS).
It was found that 83 % of the enamel paints had higher than the
approved levels of lead in some countries which are 90jg/g and
600jg/g. The lead concentrations in the paint obtained ranged from 22.5jg/g to
74175jg/g, with mean value of 6442.88jg/g and median value of 1685jg/g. The concentration of lead was very high in almost all the enamel
paints which make up over 80 % of the paint samples.
Plastic paints (emulsion paint)generally contained low lead
levels (22.5 jg/g -80.5 jg/g). Analysis
shows that there is no significant difference between the concentration of lead
and the colours of the paint sampled. Thus all the paint manufacturers are still
using lead containing pigment in their paint production. Efforts should be made
by regulatory authority to spearhead campaign to phase out lead use in paint.
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