Getting the Lead Out

October 14, 2011

Dear friends,

 paint cans

ELAW partner Hemantha Withanage sent fabulous news this week:

Children in Sri Lanka will be protected from toxic lead.  Sri Lanka's Consumer Affairs Authority has enacted new, stringent standards limiting the amount of lead in paint used in children's toys. 

"This regulation will save the lives of thousands of children yet to be born," says Hemantha, Executive Director of the Center for Environmental Justice.  "We received technical information and guidance from ELAW's Dr.  Mark Chernaik about the hazards of lead and the need for strict standards.  He also helped us find a U.S.  expert who provided an affidavit in support of our case in the Supreme Court."

Under the old standards, paint sold in Sri Lanka can have as much as 130,000 parts per million of lead-containing additives - that's more than 200 times the amount of lead allowed in U.S.  paint!  The new Sri Lankan standard matches the standards in the U.S., establishes a system for testing paints prior to sale to consumers, and includes safe standards for paint on toys and other children's accessories.

Hemantha announced the victory to the ELAW network and congratulations arrived immediately from ELAW partners in Malaysia, England, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, and Tanzania.

Congratulations to Hemantha for great work protecting children and their families from toxic lead paint!


Maggie Keenan
Communications Director
Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide

P.S.  ELAW is working with partners around the world to protect communities and the environment.  Learn more about our work on our blog, Facebook, and Twitter.