Current Levels of Lead in Paint Sold in Nigeria

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Authors : Ahamefuna N.C., Osibanjo O., Sunday A.A., Ogoko E.C.


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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