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A Toxics-Free Future


Vigilance against unlawful sale of aerosol paints with high lead content urged

Pushing for consumer vigilance to counter the illegal sale of aerosol or spray paints for general use laden with high concentrations of lead.

Quezon City, Philippines The EcoWaste Coalition pleaded for vigilance after detecting dangerously high lead levels in 13 new spray paints ahead of the seventh anniversary of the groundbreaking Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on December 23, 2013.

Spray paints

“We urge consumers to be extra careful when purchasing spray paints as some of them may contain excessive lead above the regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm). For a healthy home and a safe environment, be sure to ask for, buy and use paints with no added lead,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner EcoWaste Coalition.

“Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of spray paints with lead additives, including those selling them online, should discontinue such illegal trade that goes against the goal of eliminating lead paint to protect public health and the environment,” he said.

The group recently purchased 25 spray paints costing P79.50 to P230 each from retail stores and online sellers and had them screened for lead using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analytical device.

At least 13 out of 25 spray paints have contained lead levels ranging from 2,588 to 49,300 ppm, way in excess of the 90 ppm total lead content limit under the CCO. In addition, 10 of the 13 paints contained dangerously high lead concentrations above 10,000 ppm. Of these 13 lead-containing spray paints, eight had no manufacturers’ information. (READ: 15 Philippine paint brands pass lead-safe certification)

Among these 13 lead-containing paints were Colorz Chisai Acrylic Spray Paint (green and yellow), F1 Aerosol Spray Paint (green, orange yellow and yellow), MR. D.I.Y. Spray Paint (green, orange, sugar cane), Sanvo Aerosol Paint (green), Super 7 Acrylic Spray Paint (green and yellow), and Veslee Aerosol Paint (green and yellow).

Twelve other samples, including four Weber spray paint products by a local paint manufacturer have shown no trace of lead.

Violative levels of lead

The EcoWaste Coalition last July revealed the presence of 37 spray paints with violative levels of lead, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) subsequently banned through Advisory No. 2020-1585.

According to the public health warning issued by the FDA, “lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children (who) can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system.”

“It also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Exposure of pregnant women to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth and low birth weight,” the FDA said.

Echoing the reminder from the World Health Organization (WHO), which classifies lead as one of the “ten chemicals of major public health concern,” the FDA pointed out “there is no permissible level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects.”