The dangers of lead poisoning from paint have been well documented.
But many countries still allow lead-based paint to be manufactured. It is often used in offices and homes.
Lead from paint dusk or flakes is easily inhaled or ingested – especially by children.
It is believed millions of youngsters have been affected. They are most at risk because their bodies are smaller and still developing. Low level lead poisoning makes children appear inattentive and irritable.
Higher levels can result in delayed growth, slow learning and hearing loss.
Lead poisoning also affects adults. Globally, it kills around 670,000 people each year.
In Sri Lanka, new rules were brought in after a study found that many paints contained dangerously high levels of the substance.
Al Jazeera’s Minelle Fernandez reports from Colombo.