Q&A: How can I buy a car that has no lead in the paint?

Question from Suburb: Cloverdale 6105, Western 

Australia, 22nd August 2017

Currently I am considering purchasing a new car, I am aware that in the past Lead was used in Automobile Paint as a Pigment. My question is if any Manufacturers still do this? If so are there any particular companies to avoid? Thank you.
This e-mail was sent from a contact form on LeadSafeWorld by The LEAD Group Inc. (https://www.leadsafeworld.com)
Answer, 29th August 2017
Dear Sir,
As far as I am aware, Australia is the only country that has banned the addition of lead to automobile paints (as of 1/1/2010) but unfortunately, Australia has not banned the importation of cars painted with non-compliant lead-containing auto paints, so to be certain of getting a car that does not contain lead in the auto-paint, you’d need to ask the manufacturer for overseas-made vehicles whether the paint contains lead (or more specifically to provide you with a lab analysis report for the lead content of the coatings including anti-corrosion coatings and the top coat in the colour you want to purchase), OR buy an Australian-manufactured car, manufactured after 2010.
Note: The anti-corrosion coatings and top coat pigments in the colour range of white, yellow, orange and red are the most likely coatings applied overseas (legally, even when importing the car into Australia) to contain lead.

Car colours collage (at left) of all car ads in one issue of Australia’s National Roads and Motorists Association (NRMA) Open Road Magazine, showing lack of range of colours and that most are white or red. Advertisements collaged by Elizabeth O’Brien.

If you do obtain a lab analysis report for the coatings lead concentrations for a car made overseas, I’d be very keen to receive a copy of it for our library – in case this query happens again.

Please find above our Info Pack on the relevant Australian regulation.
Yours Sincerely
Elizabeth O’Brien
The Lead Education and Abatement Design (LEAD) Group Inc. (environmental health charity) lead.org.au
Manager, Lead Safe World Project (LSWP) – a collaboration between NGOs and businesses with products or services which help to create lead-safety locally and further afield leadsafeworld.com
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