tores Selling Leaded Paints Urged to Return Such Dangerous Products to Suppliers
23 July 2020, Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition pressed retail establishments selling lead-containing spray paints to voluntarily remove such dangerous products from store shelves for public health and safety.
“We ask retail stores selling spray paints containing lead, a chemical toxicant banned in paint formulations, to take these non-compliant products off the shelves and to return them at once to their suppliers for environmentally sound disposal,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
Some of these non-compliant products are still being offered for sale based on the market monitoring conducted by the group in Manila, Taguig and Imus Cities last Monday and Tuesday.
“We urge retailers who value their customers’ health and safety, especially children who are most susceptible to the health problems caused by lead, to only offer paint products conforming to government’s regulations,” he emphasized.
The group cited the DENR-issued Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds which banned all lead-containing paints following a six-year phase-out period ending in December 2019. Lead paint refers to paints and other similar surface coatings containing lead above the maximum limit of 90 parts per million (ppm).
The EcoWaste Coalition urged retail establishments to take their cue from Unitop Department Store, which has taken swift action against lead-containing spray paints after being notified by the group.
On July 20, Sherlyn Ng, General Counsel of Unitop Department Store confirmed that the non-compliant spray paints were “immediately removed” from their stores across the country.
“We would like to assure you that the safety and well-being of everyone is our utmost concern. We commend you for your laudable efforts to keep our world a safe and secure place. We assure you of our full cooperation in keeping our world safe and lead-free,” wrote Ng to the EcoWaste Coalition.
“Retail establishments should take their cue from Unitop and take proactive steps to prevent further distribution of lead-containing paints,” Dizon said.
To avoid selling non-compliant paint products, the group urged retailers not to sell those lacking adequate labeling information and those not covered by third-party certificate of analysis and conformity with the 90 ppm lead content limit.
To recall, the group last July 10 released a groundbreaking report revealing that 37 of the 87 samples of spray paints sent for laboratory tests failed the 90 ppm limit. Twenty-nine of these 37 lead paints were found to contain dangerously high concentrations of lead above 10,000 ppm. One product tested with an outrageous level of lead measured at 82,100 ppm.
None of the analyzed lead-laden paints was produced by companies belonging to the Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers (PAPM), an industry partner of the UN-backed Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint.
According to the report “Lead in Spray Paints for Consumer Use in the Philippines” co-published by the EcoWaste Coalition with the International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN), “the results of this study provide a strong justification for the strict monitoring of compliance” to the CCO for Lead and Lead Compounds.
“Ensuring that spray paints pose no lead-based hazards is absolutely required as these paints are marketed as ideal for almost all types of surfaces and painting applications – e.g., as a touch-up paint for cars and household appliances, as a material for school projects and as a convenient stuff for sprucing up accessories and decors – and are accessible to all consumers,” the report said.**