Lead in Paint

This page provides information for businesses seeking guidance on how to comply with the federal consumer product safety rules on lead in paint and other similar surface coatings.


What are the federal requirements limiting lead in children's products?

Total Lead Content

With a few limited exceptions, all children's products, including toys, manufactured after August 14, 2011 are required to contain no more than 100 parts per million (ppm) of total lead content in accessible parts. Please see our webpage on total lead content for more information on this requirement.


Lead in Paint and Similar Surface Coatings

All children's products, including toys, and some furniture, for adult and children, must not contain a concentration of lead greater than 0.009 percent (90 parts per million) in paint or any similar surface coatings. (The concentration is based on the weight in the non-volatile portion of the dried paint film.) Household paint must also meet this requirement.


The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (CPSIA) (Public Law 110-314) lowered the concentration of lead in paint that is permissible - from 0.06 percent (600 ppm) - to the new limit of 0.009 percent (90 ppm).


You can find the law in section 101 of the CPSIA (pdf) and 16 CFR part 1303


What is a paint or similar surface coating material?

These terms apply generally to liquid or semi-liquid products that change to a solid film when you apply a thin coating to wood, stone, metal, cloth, plastic, or a similar surface.


Printing inks, materials such as pigments for plastic that become part of an article itself, and materials such as ceramic glaze and electroplated coatings that become bonded to the surface of a product are not paints or similar surface coating materials. See 16 CFR §1303.2(b)(1) for more detail. Printing inks refer to inks used for printing on paper. Inks used to print on textiles are addressed in another question in this document.


Which products must meet this regulation?

The lead limit in paint and surface coatings applies to: (i) paint and other similar surface coatings; (ii) toys and other articles intended for use by children; and (iii) certain furniture articles.


Pieces of moveable furniture that contain a surface coating, such as beds, bookcases, chairs, chests, tables, dressers, and console televisions are covered by the regulation.


Appliances such as ranges, refrigerators, and washers, fixtures such as built-in cabinets, windows, and doors, and household products, such as window shades and venetian blinds, are not covered by the regulation.


In addition to those products that are sold directly to consumers, the ban applies to products that are used or enjoyed by consumers after sale, such as paints used in residences, schools, hospitals, parks, playgrounds, and public buildings or other areas where consumers will have direct access to the painted surface. Paints for boats and cars are not covered by the ban.


Where do I learn more?

This page will serve as the CPSC's primary resource page for all information related to the limit on lead content in paint or any similar surface coatings.



This communication has been prepared for general informational purposes only and is based upon the facts and information presented. This communication does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice and has not been reviewed or approved by the Commission, and does not necessarily represent their views.  Any views expressed in this communication may be changed or superseded by the Commission.