Home>Lifestyle>Health and Wellness>EcoWaste Coalition Uncovers 12 More Spray Paints with Banned Lead Additives
Health and Wellness

EcoWaste Coalition Uncovers 12 More Spray Paints with Banned Lead Additives

27 June 2023, Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has discovered 12 more imported spray paints with lead content, including five products that are wrongly labeled as “lead-free.” This brings to 97 the number of lead-containing spray paints sold locally, which the group has so far uncovered since 2020.

Lead, a toxic chemical, is used to give the paint its color, make it opaque, speed up its drying time, and increase its durability, and also to prevent corrosion or rust. As no level of exposure to lead is known to be without detrimental effects to human health, especially children’s health, governments across the globe, including the Philippines, are taking action to ban or restrict lead in paints. Responsible paint manufacturers have switched to non-lead raw materials to produce lead-safe paints.

Based on laboratory tests conducted in the US, 12 of the 14 spray paint products purchased and submitted by the EcoWaste Coalition for confirmatory analysis exceeded the total lead content limit of 90 parts per million (ppm). Five of these products contained high lead concentrations above 10,000 ppm. The tests were performed by SGS Forensic Laboratories based in California.

“Finding lead in spray paints, which are accessible to consumers and are often used for DIY home and school projects, years after the ban on such paints took effect is unacceptable. To recall, the ban on lead-containing decorative spray commenced in January 2017 following a three-year phase-out period, while the ban on lead-containing industrial paints began in January 2020,” said Manny Calonzo of the EcoWaste Coalition. “We need to put a stop to the unlawful entry of paints containing lead, a potent neurotoxin and a known endocrine disrupting chemical (EDC), into our ports, homes and schools and strictly enforce the national ban on such paints.”

“As most of these leaded spray paints were imported and purchased online, we urge online shopping platforms to immediately remove the product listings for such paints and to require sellers to obtain a certificate of conformity with the 90 ppm lead paint standard from concerned distributors or manufacturers prior to sale,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition. “Sellers should display such proof of compliance as consumers have the right to know.”

DENR Administrative Order 2013-24, or the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds, which won the coveted 2021 Future Policy Award (special category on lead in paint), banned lead in paint manufacturing and imposed a strict 90 ppm total limit for lead in all paints.

Lead Spray Paint

Despite the claim of being “lead-free,” five of the seven variants of Sinag Paint Aerosol and Sinag Spray Paint were found to contain varying levels of lead: 200 ppm (peach red), 1,200 ppm (matt black), 9,900 ppm (jade green),13,000 ppm (dark green) and a whopping 78,000 ppm (orange yellow) lead.

The two variants of One Take Whale Fall had lead concentrations measured at 52,000 ppm (medium green) and 48,000 ppm (dark green), while the three variants of Getsun Spray Paint Aerosol Lacquer were found to contain 900 ppm (bright red), 12,000 ppm (light green) and 18,000 ppm (art yellow) lead.

Also, Boston Spray Paint (orange red) and King Sfon Aerosol Spray (cream) tested with 4,000 ppm and 9,600 ppm of lead, respectively.

Boston Spray Paint, Getsun Spray Paint, One Take Whale Fall and Sinag Paint Aerosol were marked “made in China” or “made in PRC.” Except for Sinag, the samples were procured by the EcoWaste Coalition from online dealers at Lazada and Shopee.

“Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children,” warned the World Health Organization (WHO), which has classified lead as one of the “ten chemicals of major public health concern.”

As explained by the WHO: “Young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health impacts, particularly on the development of the brain and nervous system. Lead 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.”

To prevent and reduce lead exposure, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed anew to: 1) paint manufacturers, importers and distributors to only offer duly verified lead-safe products, 2) retailers to only stock paints with no added lead and to take wrongly labeled lead-free paints off the shelves, 3) online shopping platforms to delist non-compliant paint product listings, 4) consumers to ask for and use lead-safe paints, and 5) contractors, workers and others to refrain from disturbing surfaces coated with leaded paints and to observe proper lead-based paint removal to avoid contaminating the surroundings with lead-containing paint chips and dust.



Lead poisoning

EcoWaste Coalition
Let's make an eco-friendly, zero waste, and toxic-free Philippines a reality.