(Watchdog group discovers three more aerosol paints sold online with lead up to 94,900 ppm)
10 November 2023, Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has deplored the continuing use of online shopping platforms as a channel to sell products containing forbidden hazardous substances like lead, a potent neurotoxin.
Amid the 11.11 online shopping sales, the group slammed the trade of products that violate the national ban on paints containing lead, a chemical additive banned in the manufacture of paints and similar surface coatings.
The DENR A.O. 2013-24, which will mark its 10th year of promulgation on December 23 this year, sets a maximum total limit of 90 parts per million (ppm) for lead that is used to give paint certain characteristics such as color, fast drying, opacity, durability and resistance to corrosion.
Also known as the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for lead and lead compounds, this regulation, which bagged the prestigious Future Policy Award in 2021 (special category on lead in paint), phased out lead-containing decorative and industrial paints in December 2016 and December 2019, respectively, following a three-year phase-out period (2013-2016) for the former and a longer six-year transition time (2013-2019) for the latter.
The group’s denunciation of the unlawful act came on the heels of its latest discovery of three more lead-containing aerosol paints that it recently bought from an online dealer based in Marilao, province of Bulacan.
Out of the five bright colored variants of “Top Tibay Spray Paint” purchased for P65 per can, three were found to contain lead way above the regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm). The product also carries the tagline in Filipino “subok na matibay” (proven durable).
The canary yellow, medium yellow and fresh green variants of Top Tibay Spray Paint contained 94,900 ppm, 50,040 ppm, and 32,240 ppm of lead as per X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) screening conducted by the group.
Aside from Top Tibay Spray Paint, the EcoWaste Coalition assailed the nonstop sale in online shopping sites of mostly imported aerosol paint brands with one or more variants containing lead above the 90 ppm limit, including Anton, Best Drive Extreme One, Boston, Colorz Chisai, F1, Getsun, Greenfield, Haifei, King Sfon, Koby, Korona, MKT, Nikko, One Take, Sanio, Silvestre, Standard, and Yandy Spray Paints.
Like most spray paints sold in the market, Top Tibay Spray Paint provided no information about its manufacturer or distributor, as well as the country where it was produced. As indicated on the can, the products were manufactured on May 13, 2023, which is way past the phase-out deadline for lead-containing paints.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “lead exposure can have serious consequences for the health of children. In particular, lead can affect children’s brain development, resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as reduced attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment.”
WHO, which lists lead among the 10 chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern, warned “lead exposure also causes anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs.”
As part of its campaign toward a zero waste and toxics-free society, the EcoWaste Coalition is pushing to make the online marketplace safe from hazardous chemicals and products containing them that can endanger human health and the ecosystems.