keywords: Lead, paint flakes, urban, sub urban
Lead used in paint pigments for its ability to improve drying, increase durability, retain fresh appearance and resist moisture that causes paint corrosion is also associated with lower IQ in children and other health issues. As a result, lead in paints is now being legislated. The aim of this study was to determine the concentration of lead in paint flakes from homes situated in urban and sub urban environments and the implication of exposure to humans. Paint flakes have were been collected from homes in both urban and sub urban areas of Lagos, Nigeria and concentration of lead was determined using an atomic absorption spectrometer (AAS) (Buck scientific Model 210 VGP, serial number: 1619) after acid digestion. Concentration of lead in paint flakes from homes were highly variable and spanned several order of magnitude (7.8 to 2330 mg/kg) with median concentrations of 29, 3.6 and 69 mg/kg for the three areas where homes were sampled. This result, indicate that pealed or weathered paint flakes is still an important exposure route to lead for humans especially for children and people with pica behavior.