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  QUESTION: Lead in paint in India, 31 Oct 2005, Delhi India

Thank you for this website.

I am a mother in India, who wanted to paint an existing house, and was horrified to find that there are so many over-the-counter brands of paint sold with Lead in them. Mike van Alphen, Lead Sense, PO Box 3421, Rundle Mall South Australia 5000, has mentioned in his article "Lead Poisoning in India" that he tested 25 brands, and found lead in most of them. Would you be so kind as to let me know which these brands were, so that I (and many other parents who are equally concerned) can safely avoid them, please?

Thank you ever so much. Please send a reply to my email address as soon as you possibly can.

A concerned parent in India,


ANSWER: 04 Nov 2005

Dear Deepika,

I forwarded your enquiry to Mike Van Alphen and he has provided the response below. Thankyou for asking the question.

Elizabeth O'Brien


I sampled a range of paints in 1999, that obviously had brand names on them. The brand names I believe are of little consequence. I do not think that there are "just a few brands to watch out for".

The lead chromate colours, bright red, yellow, orange and the Brunswick green ( and others) are all worth watching out for.

I would not permit another to use (at their will) the brand names and manufacturers names of the products tested as I could in return become the subject of unnecessary personal attention from individually identified companies. I would like to visit India again one day and don't want to end up in court. In addition, 6 years have passed since the data was obtained and some manufacturers have hopefully changed their formulations.

It would be more important to determine what companies today manufacture and sell lead pigment paints as opposed to who did so in 1999.

In any case if a person were in India and had read the article on the George Foundation web site - then the photo of a range of paint cans in the article would give some indication of what brands may have contained lead. Some in the photo did not contain lead ( at that time ) however.

Anyway this issue has just spurred me to find out what had happened in the paint industry in India after the 1999 lead conference.

regards Mike
Mike Van Alphen

Update 2012: See Lead in Paints INVESTIGATORS Dr. Sapna Johnson, Dr. Nirmali Saikia, Mr. Ramakant Sahu. CENTRE FOR SCIENCE AND ENVIRONMENT, 41, TUGHLAKABAD INSTITUTIONAL AREA, NEW DELHI 110062. August 2009

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