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A Toxics-Free Future


Lead in Playground Equipment in the Philippines

From September to October 2019, 14 playgrounds located in 10 cities and one municipality in Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao and the National Capital Region, Philippines were visited. In each playground, painted play equipment (e.g., climbing bars and frames, posts, railings, ramps, rockers, see-saws, slides, swings, etc.) were examined and physical details, e.g., color of painted surface, substrate type (metallic, wooden, plastic, fiberglass, etc.), and the condition of painted surface (new, old, visible chipping off or flaking) were documented.

In situ lead content analysis was performed on painted surfaces using portable Olympus Innov-X Delta and SciAps X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometers. For a complete description of the materials and methods, please see Appendix A.

This study shows that:

  • 50 out of 55 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), dry weight. In addition, 41 analyzed pieces of playground equipment contained dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.
  • Multi-layered painted surfaces were the most hazardous with 77 out of 102 screened painted surfaces containing lead levels greater than 10,000 ppm. Thirty-one yellow-painted surfaces also contained dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.
  • The highest lead concentration detected was 663,000 ppm on a yellow-painted surface of a multi-coated play equipment in Burnham Park, Baguio City, Philippines.
Read the full report below.


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