The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition of the Philippines revealed it has found 15 more spray paint products with dangerously high lead content up to 124,000 parts per million (ppm) that will make them illegal to import, distribute and sell under the country’s lead paint regulation. To date, the group has tracked 71 leaded spray paints being sold in the local market.
As part of its continuing effort to promote awareness and compliance to the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds (or CCO for short) banning lead in the manufacture of all paints, the group conducted test buys targeting spray paints being sold at motorcycle and bicycle supplies stores in Caloocan and Manila Cities and in online shopping platforms.
"The unlawful sale of multi-purpose lead-containing spray paints has to end. As these items are mostly sourced from overseas, we need the customs authorities to step in and stop these non-compliant products from entering or leaving our ports. Enforcement mechanisms to prevent the importation and sale of such paints need to be strengthened to protect public health,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
"Manufacturers of spray paints being sold in the country must see to it that their products have passed the maximum 90 ppm total lead content limit," said Derrick Tan, President, Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers (PAPM), adding, "spray paint importers, distributors and retailers should insist on products with no added lead from their suppliers."
"Lead exposure can cause debilitating and lingering health effects in all people, but it is much more harmful to young children whose brains and bodies are still developing. Exposure to lead early in life can cause developmental delay, reduced intelligence, shortened attention span, learning difficulties, poor school performance, and behavioural problems,” said environmental health scientist Dr Geminn Louis C. Apostol, Assistant Professor at the Ateneo School of Medicine and Public Health.
The EcoWaste Coalition last month purchased 27 samples of bright colour spray paints representing 10 brands for P100 to P255 per can and then screened them for lead using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device. The 15 samples that screened positive for lead were then submitted to SGS, a leading testing company, for confirmatory lead content analysis.
As per laboratory tests, the 15 samples representing six brands were found to contain lead between 3,580 to 124,000 ppm in blatant violation of the CCO. Of the 15 samples, 14 had dangerously high concentrations of lead above 10,000 ppm.
"The average lead concentration of the 15 analysed paints was 56,025 ppm or 622.5 times greater than the regulatory limit of 90 ppm,” Dizon pointed out.
The following products topped the list of samples with the highest lead concentrations per brand: Best Drive Extreme One Spray Paint (orange red) with 124,000 ppm of lead, King Sfon Aerosol Spray (lemon yellow) with 91,000 ppm, Koby Spray Paint (deep yellow) with 69,200 ppm, Colorz Aerosol Spray Paint (fresh green) with 62,200, MKT Spray Paint (art yellow) with 50,700 ppm, and Yandy Spray Paint (leaf green) with 32,100 ppm of lead.
Of the 15 leaded spray paint samples, five were imported from China and three from Thailand. Seven products provided no information about their country of manufacture, of which four are distributed by a local company based in Biñan, Laguna.
The EcoWaste Coalition will reach out to concerned distributors and retailers, as well as to government regulators, to bring the illegal sale of lead-containing spray paints to a close.