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Laboratory Tests Confirm High Lead Content of Paints Purchased in Cebu

Bad Axe Spray Paint
Laboratory tests find five variants of Bad Axe Spray Paint contaminated with lead in excess of 40,000 parts per million (ppm)

Cebu City/Quezon City. Laboratory tests have confirmed the presence of lead, a hazardous chemical banned in paint manufacturing, in five spray paints obtained from Cebu retailers. As per test report, all five samples contained lead in excess of 40,000 parts per million (ppm), which is way above the 90 ppm regulatory limit.

The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition purchased last September 26 the five variants of Bad Axe Spray Paint from stores located in Cebu, Lapu-Lapu and Mandaue Cities. Each 400 ml can is sold for less than P100. The label provides no information about the product’s manufacturer and country of manufacture. It also provides no information or warning about the paint’s lead content.

Before the Christmas break, the five samples were submitted by the group for lead content analysis to SGS, a private testing company, along with 26 other samples bought from retail stores in Baliwag, Davao, Makati and Manila Cities and the municipalities of Pateros and San Antonio (Nueva Ecija), as well as from online sellers.

“The results of the confirmatory laboratory tests indicate that lead-containing paints are still offered for sale despite the completion of the phase-out period for such paints. Though most local manufacturers have successfully complied with the phase-out deadline, imported spray paints with undisclosed lead additives can be purchased from certain physical and online stores,” said Manny Calonzo, Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

For his part, Atty. John Menguito, Managing Trustee of the Philippine Earth Justice Center (PEJC), a member of the EcoWaste Coalition, said: “National and local regulatory agencies should take their cue from the results of the investigative work of the EcoWaste Coalition and take the necessary steps to ensure that the lead paint ban is fully enforced in Cebu. We need to keep all Cebuanos, the children in particular, safe from the detrimental effects of lead exposure to human health.”

According to the laboratory test results, all the five paint samples from Cebu, which were manufactured between 2021 to 2023, contained over 40,000 ppm of lead.

Bad Axe Spray Paint
Lead-containing Bad Axe Spray Paint on sale in Cebu retail stores

The orange yellow Bad Axe Spray Paint contained 45,400 ppm of lead, while the Gongcheng orange yellow, jade green, canary yellow and deep yellow variants had 44,400 ppm, 43,400 ppm, 42,200 and 40,200 ppm, respectively.

As written on its label, Bad Axe Spray Paint is recommended for coating wooden, steel and other metal surfaces of household appliances, equipment, furniture, bicycles and the like, which will make it qualify as a decorative paint for consumer use.

Decorative paints containing lead above 90 ppm should not be manufactured, imported, distributed or sold after the three-year phase-out period for such paints that ended on December 31, 2016 as per DENR A.O. 2013-24 or the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for lead and lead compounds.

The CCO further phased out lead-containing industrial paints following the phase-out deadline on December 31, 2019.

Lead exposure is linked to adverse health effects, including damage to the brain and the central nervous system, slowed growth and development, hearing and speech problems, learning difficulties and behavioral problems, which can cause reduced ability to pay attention, underperformance in school, and lower intelligence quotient (IQ).

“There is no level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects,” according to the WHO. “Lead exposure is preventable,” it added.


https://chemical.emb.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/DAO-2013-24-CCO-Lead.pdf
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/lead-poisoning-and-health

EcoWaste Coalition
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