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Regulation of lead in paints: Ecuador

The following article explains the efforts Ecuador has made to regulate lead in paints. This note arose as a result of the controversy that was presented last year by the still use of lead in paints in different countries of Latin America.

by Luis Fernando Santos MSc.*

"Bolivia, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Paraguay and Peru do not yet have mandatory laws on the limit of lead in decorative paints," said the report presented by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead in Paints (AGEPP), led by WHO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

In this context and as Technical Manager of the company Pinturas Unidas in Guayaquil – Ecuador I allow myself to put to the consideration of the Latin American community of the coatings  industry the great advances that Ecuador has achieved in relation to the elimination of lead as a component of paint formulations in general.

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The technical regulations in Ecuador related to coatings have been in the process of permanent updating for about two years and in an accelerated manner it has been achieved through the technical committees promoted by the Ecuadorian Institute of Standardization and the different delegates of all the Paints companies to generate countless norms of very robust requirements in relation to compliance with international standards that consider not only maximum permissible values Lead but also include concepts such as Chromium limits, VOC  maximum values and other contaminants.

Considering the above, I detail below the values described in the current Ecuadorian regulations and what is described in the regulations that will enter into force safely during the first quarter of 2017 once the applicable legal deadlines have been met.

Similarly, in addition to compliance with the values detailed in the standard, the declaration on the labels of the maximum permitted lead content is required.  

It is worth noting that the elimination of heavy metals in paints in Ecuador is focusing not only on the decorative segment, but as can be seen in the table above, the limit is extended to the different segments of coatings such as the wood, industrial and automotive segment. 

The commitment of government institutions and private companies is to progressively include all specific segments of coatings that are marketed in the country in the regulations, based on the values set out above.

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In the same way, the effort made by the different paint companies in Ecuador must be valued, both from the technological as well as economic point of view, having as a horizon to free the Ecuadorian market of lead coatings and the consequences that this entails.

Complementing the work carried out from the point of view of legislation considering environmental aspects, different instances of control of compliance with current regulations have been established through organizations such  as the Ministry of Industries and the Superintendence of Market Control.   These controls are bearing their first fruits through the application of the applicable sanctions regime.

Note 2: If you want to know more about the way in which the Ecuadorian Institute of Standardization elaborated its technical standards for the determination of lead in paints, you can consult the standards NTE INEN 2 093:98, NTE INEN 2284 and NTE INEN 1544.

* Chemical Engineer Luis Fernando Santos MSc.  -  Technical Manager Of United Paintings. You can be contacted via email lsantos@unidas.com.ec

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria. dchaverra@latinpressinc.com

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