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EcoWaste Coalition Raises Red Flag on Leaded Spray Paints

Lead Spray Paint

1 February 2023, Quezon City. The EcoWaste Coalition has advised paint consumers not to buy and use aerosol paints (commonly referred to as spray paints) containing lead, a hazardous chemical prohibited in the production of paint products.

The group, which is campaigning for a lead-safe environment for children’s health, issued the reminder following its recent discovery of a spray paint with lead content exceeding the regulatory limit.

Lead in paints, according to DENR Administrative Order 2013-24, must not exceed the 90 parts per million (ppm) threshold limit.

“Despite the completion of the phase-out period for lead-containing paints, we still find non-compliant products with very high levels of lead in the market,” noted Manny Calonzo, EcoWaste Coalition.

“The unabated sale of lead-containing spray paints, which are mostly imported and often marketed for general use, goes against the country’s historic shift to lead-safe paint manufacturing,” he said.

Most recently, the group purchased a King Sfon spray paint, which has no manufacturer’s markings, for P99 per 450 ml. can from a retailer in Angeles City. As printed on the bottom of the can, the product was manufactured on May 25, 2020, or after the phase-out deadline for leaded paints.

To recall, lead-containing architectural, decorative and household paints were phased out in December 2016, while lead-containing industrial paints were phased out in December 2019 in line with the DENR A.O. 2013-24.

As per the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) screening made by the EcoWaste Coalition, the cream color King Sfon spray paint that it bought from a retailer contained 9,690 ppm lead.

Lead Spray Paint

According to the group, lead-based King Sfon spray paints are still offered for sale in bicycle and motorcycle supply shops, especially at 999 Shopping Mall in Binondo, Manila, and in some general merchandise and online stores.

As stated in the report “Imported Lead-Containing Spray Paints Sold in the Philippine Market” published in 2022 by the EcoWaste Coalition and the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), seven other variants of King Sfon contained high lead levels up to 91,100 ppm.

According to laboratory tests commissioned by the groups, King Sfon lemon yellow had 91,100 ppm, orange red had 85,800 ppm, yellow had 50,100 ppm, orange had 48,200 ppm, orange yellow 47,600 ppm, gold had 42,800 ppm, and silver red had 19,500 ppm.

“It’s despicable to see the continued use of lead on spray paints, which are used to spruce up household furniture and fixtures, appliances, play equipment, and toys, thereby unnecessarily exposing children to lead-containing paints,” said Jeiel Guarino, IPEN’s Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaigner. “Safer alternatives to lead are now available for all types of paints, including spray paints, so there’s no excuse for manufacturers to continue using lead raw materials.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “lead exposure can cause chronic and debilitating health impacts in all age groups, but it is particularly harmful to young children because the developing nervous system is vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead, even at levels of exposure that do not cause obvious symptoms and signs.”

“Lead exposure in early childhood can result in reduced cognitive abilities, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder and antisocial behavior, and can also cause anaemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs,” said the WHO.

“As lead painted objects start to decay, the paint often fragments into flakes and dust that contaminate the home environment. This aging process can be very fast in some climates,” ,” the WHO explained. “Paint flakes and dust are readily swallowed by young children, who typically play on the ground and frequently put their hands to their mouths.”

To address the problem, the EcoWaste Coalition enjoined the authorities to ensure the effective removal of lead-containing spray paints, particularly those manufactured overseas, in offline and online stores and halt their further sale to protect human health from lead exposure.





EcoWaste Coalition
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