The Consumer Affairs Authority has issued a circular specifying the maximum lead content in the inks and paints sold in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, the maximum content of lead in paints used in children’s toys and in emulsion used for indoor and outdoor decor is 60 parts per million (milligram per kilogram). Floor paints can contain 90 parts per million of lead, according to the gazette.
The gazette notification will be effective from 1 January 2011.
The announcement followed a fundamental rights petition filed by an NGO, Environmental Justice Centre, which stated that the paints sold in Sri Lanka contained high levels of lead that is highly excessive according to the international standards.
Lead, a heavy metal added to improve paint quality is especially damaging to children under age six.