LEAD Action News
LEAD Action News Volume 16 Number 3, june 2016, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News (ISSN 1440-0561)
The Journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.
Editor-in-Chief: Elizabeth O’Brien, Editorial Team: Yiru Rocky Huang, Michelle Calvert and David Ratcliffe

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PPG Industries will phase out lead from all paints by 2020

April 21, 2016 1:35 PM, by Joyce Gannon, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Copyright ©, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 2016, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.

PPG Industries today said it will phase out lead from all of its paints by 2020.

Michael McGarry, president and chief executive of the Downtown-based coatings and glass company, told shareholders at the company’s annual meeting that PPG’s sustainability committee adopted the new policy to reduce and eventually eliminate lead from its industrial paints that are used for automobiles, heavy equipment, bridges, airplanes and other applications.

Exposure to lead-based paint is known to cause severe health issues in children and adults including damage to body organs, behavioral problems, and impairments to mental and physical development.

PPG eliminated lead from its household paints several years ago.

During the annual meeting at the Fairmont Hotel, Downtown, Perry Gottesfeld, executive director of a San Francisco, Calif.-based activist organization, Occupational Knowledge International, asked the company to stop making and distributing lead paint and presented a petition signed by more than 5,700 people.

The same petition was delivered to coatings giant Sherwin-Williams which is based in Cleveland, Ohio. In it, petitioners asked the companies to eliminate all lead compounds in their products, recall all lead paint and dispose of it through environmentally safe methods.

Mr. Gottesfeld noted that Dutch paints maker AkzoNobel stopped using lead additives in 2011.

In a new sustainability report posted on its company web site today at www.ppg.com, PPG said it has no plans to develop new products that contain lead and has developed plans to eliminate lead from products that become part of its portfolio through acquisitions.

Mr. McGarry said PPG is working with existing customers that use its industrial paints to reformulate products for their specifications.

“This is a big reversal,” said Mr. Gottesfeld, who noted that his organization had made several earlier attempts to push PPG to make lead-free products. “I think it’s an excellent move.”

Earlier today, PPG said first-quarter net income rose nearly 8 percent to $347 million, or $1.29 per share, boosted by income from six acquisitions in 2015 and cost-cutting initiatives.

Sales were flat compared with a year ago at $3.7 billion.

Adjusted net income, excluding after-tax transaction charges, was $351 million, or $1.31 per share, beating Wall Street analysts’ average estimate of $1.30 per share.

Adjusted earnings were up 11 percent over first-quarter 2015.

“We realized this improvement despite ongoing, but moderating, unfavorable foreign currency translation,” said Mr. McGarry.

He said sales volumes improved in Europe, China and Mexico while U.S. and Canadian sales were flat.

Within its business segments, PPG said sales of performance coatings -- which includes consumer paints -- fell less than 1 percent. Industrial coatings rose by about 2 percent.

Glass sales declined by 2 percent in part because of the sale of a glass manufacturing plant.

Company officials were scheduled to discuss the quarterly results in a conference call this afternoon.

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