2021 update on the global status of legal limits on lead in paint

As of 31 December 2021, 84 countries – comprising 43% of all countries – have legally binding controls to limit the production, import and sale of lead paints. In the majority of countries worldwide, using lead paint in homes and schools is not prohibited, creating a significant risk of children’s exposure to lead. The most effective means of preventing lead exposure from paints is to establish national laws – including legislation, regulations and/or legally binding standards as appropriate – that ban the use of lead additives in paints. Countries that have not yet done so are urged to enact and enforce effective national legislation, regulations and/or standards to, at a minimum, stop the manufacture, import and sale of household decorative lead paints. Countries are also encouraged to consider limiting lead in all types of paints. The 2021 Global Status Report describes the status of lead paint laws in countries as of December 2021, as well as activities undertaken by countries where lead paint laws are in the process of being established.