The National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology (Inmetro) announced the results of the analysis of 17 paint brands, 12 types of synthetic and 5 types of varnish. The study, which was conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Environment (MMA) and the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC), aims to assess the concentration of lead in products, because of the danger that the substance above the permitted levels represents to the human health and the environment.
According to Alberto Rocha, the Chemical Safety Manager of the MMA, when the lead is released, it can travel long distances before being deposited in the soil, which usually adheres to its particles. Lead can move into groundwater, depending on the type of lead compound and the characteristics of the soil.
Two synthetic enamel brands were considered non-compliant, one of them for presenting lead concentrations 200 times higher than the limit established by Federal Law 11,762. Lead concentration test in synthetic enamel and varnish was conducted by the Chemical Analysis Laboratory of the Institute for Technological Research (IPT), which is accredited by the Inmetro.
“Lead exposure can cause various diseases, especially in children. The lead-based paint deteriorates over time and people can inhale or ingest particles of this heavy metal through the household dust, paint chips or contaminated soil,” said Leticia Carvalho, the director of Environmental Quality in Industry, adding that Brazil is trying to join the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paints (GAELP).
GAELP, a collaborative initiative led jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), is already developing campaigns in several countries, with the objective of raising awareness about the risks of exposure of children to lead paint and minimizing exposure of painters and users to this product.