Chipped paint in old houses, particularly in Europe, can be an overlooked culprit of high lead levels in blood. The Environmental Defense Fund, based in Washington, has released a report which highlights the continuing dangers of lead in household pa
Despite a 1921 treaty that banned interior paints with more than 2 per cent of lead carbonate or lead sulphate, old housing stock is still decorated with the paint, especially, in Europe, the report states.
Lead chromate remains largely unregulated and exterior paint with lead is still sold in most countries outside of the US.
The report, Global Dimensions of Lead Poisoning, also points out the increasing levels of lead in the atmosphere. During the industrial revolution, annual production of lead was 100,000 tonnes, but has risen to 5.5 million tonnes today. Developed nations account for 65 per cent of world consumption; the countries of Latin America, Eastern Europe and Africa have increased their consumption steadily. African consumption; has risen by 300 per cent in the last 20 years.