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More Lead-Containing Spray Paints Found Despite Ban
Quezon City, Philippines A non-profit environmental health watchdog group monitoring compliance to the country’s ban on lead paint today revealed its discovery of six more spray paints with excessive levels of lead, bringing the number of violative aerosol paint products it had found to 56.
According to the latest ALERTOXIC issued by the EcoWaste Coalition, lead content analysis performed by a private laboratory detected lead up to a whopping 99,900 parts per million (ppm) on six bright color Tacoma Spray Paints, which the group purchased last April 14 from a hardware store chain.
DENR A.O. 2013-24, the historic chemical control order phasing out lead-containing paints, bans lead, a toxic chemical, in all paints in excess of the threshold limit of 90 ppm.
“Of the six spray paint products sent to the lab for analysis, four were found to contain dangerously high lead concentrations exceeding 10,000 ppm. A glossy yellow paint was top with a massive 99,900 ppm of lead. The products are ‘made in China’ with no manufacturer’s markings. Interestingly, the products were manufactured in 2020 after our country has already completed the phase-out for all lead-containing paints," said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Our government, with active support from the paint industry and the civil society, has phased out lead in all paints to protect our children from this major source of lead exposure for kids. They are exposed to lead when lead paint chips and crumbles, releasing lead into the dust and soil that can be ingested through normal hand-to-mouth behavior,” he said. “The presence of non-compliant products in the market, including imported ones, stresses the need for further measures to ensure full compliance to the ban.”
Environmental health scientist Dr. Geminn Louis C. Apostol said: “No safe level of lead exposure without adverse health effects has been identified. Even low-dose exposure to this toxic metal is deemed hazardous, especially to infants and children and their developing brains.” Apostol, who is Assistant Professor at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health, warned “early childhood exposure is linked to lifelong intellectual, developmental and behavioral problems such as reduced intelligence quotient, impaired learning ability, inattentiveness, hearing and speech problems, slowed growth, aggression, violence and other behavioral disorders.”
The EcoWaste Coalition will request Citi Hardware where it obtained the lead-containing Tacoma Spray Paints to voluntarily stop their sale across their 75 stores nationwide, and to return the remaining stocks to their source for environmentally sound disposal.
According to the report “Lead in Spray Paints for Consumer Use in the Philippines” published last year by the EcoWaste Coalition and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN): “ensuring that spray paints pose no lead-based hazards is absolutely required as these paints are marketed as ideal for almost all types of surfaces and painting applications.”
Spray paints, the report noted, are used as a touch-up paint for cars and household appliances, as a material for school projects and as a convenient stuff for sprucing up accessories and decors, and are accessible to all consumers.
The EcoWaste Coalition will notify concerned environmental, health and trade regulators about the results of their latest test buys and the need for concerted measures to boost complete compliance to the country’s ban on lead paint.
Lead content of Tacoma Spray Paints as analyzed by SGS laboratory:
- Tacoma Spray Paint (glossy yellow): 99,900 ppm
- Tacoma Spray Paint (glossy green): 75,500 ppm
- Tacoma Spray Paint (fluorescent green): 28,400 ppm
- Tacoma Spray Paint (fluorescent orange): 21,600 ppm
- Tacoma Spray Paint (fluorescent yellow): 2,650 ppm
- Tacoma Spray Paint (glossy red): 195 ppm