02 May 2013

EcoWaste Coalition Raises Concern Over Safety of Kids' Reusable Water Bottles (14 Out of 30 Water Bottles Found Coated with Leaded Paint)

Reusable water bottles WITH lead (above).
Reusable water bottles WITHOUT lead.
 
An environmental group tracking toxic chemicals in children’s products sounded the alarm over excessive levels of lead on the surface coatings of some reusable water bottles that are popular among school-going kids.

“While recognizing their ecological and financial benefits, we find it worrisome that some reusable water bottles fail to live up to basic chemical safety and product labeling requirements,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the Project Protect, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Kid-safe reusable water bottles should not only be easy-to-carry, lightweight, leak-proof and durable, but must be properly labeled and free of harmful chemicals that can put a child’s health and development at risk,” he pointed out.

Out of the 30 aluminum, stainless steel and plastic water bottles bought by the group for P15 to P344 each, 14 samples were found to contain elevated amounts of lead up to over 100,000 parts per million (ppm), way beyond the US limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint and surface coatings.

The samples were obtained from various shops in 168 Shopping Mall, 999 Shopping Mall, 11/88 Shopping Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Tutuban Mall and New Divisoria Mall in Manila City, as well as from retailers in Cubao, Quezon City.

Out of these 30 samples, only 4 had complete information about their manufacturers or distributors and their contact details.


“None of the products had information about their chemical ingredients, and none of them carry any precautionary warning about lead and other chemicals of concerns,” Dizon observed.

“None of the samples indicated being free of bisphenol A (BPA), an endocrine-disrupting chemical like lead, used in polycarbonate plastic, plastic lining and plastic spout,” he stated.

“Also, only one out of seven plastic samples had a ‘plastic recycling code’ on the bottom of the container, which is useful in telling consumers the type of plastic used on a particular plastic product,” he added.

With the help of a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, lead was detected in the following reusable water bottles:

1. A yellow “Yapee Dog” stainless steel cannister, over 100,000 ppm
2. A yellow “high-grade vacuum flask”(0.5 liter) over 100,000 ppm
3. A yellow “Yapee Dog” stainless steel cannister, 89,600 ppm
4. A yellow “Chuannan” stainless steel bottle, 68,700 ppm
5. A yellow “Wu Xin” stainless steel cup 49,600 ppm
6. A yellow “Tigger and Pooh” stainless steel bottle, 37,300 ppm
7. A yellow “high-grade vacuum flask”(0.5 liter) 35,700 ppm
8. A yellow, unlabelled stainless steel bottle, 34,000 ppm
9. A yellow “Mickey Mouse and Friends” stainless steel bottle, 27,400 ppm
10. A yellow “Wuxing” bottle, 24,800 ppm
11. A yellow “high-grade vacuum flash” (0.35 liter) 21,500 ppm
12. A green “Moliza” stainless steel bottle,” 4,634 ppm
13. A yellow “Dora” aluminum bottle, 3,247 ppm
14. A translucent “Guangle” orange plastic bottle, 681 ppm

Dizon explained that lead was detected on the painted body and cover of the samples, noting that two samples were coated with leaded paint up to the brim, which increases the chances of direct exposure to lead via ingestion.

Health experts consider lead as a neurotoxin that is hazardous to a young child’s developing brain and nervous system even at low levels of exposure, impairing cognitive and physical development that is oftentimes irreversible.

“Considering the threat to health of leaded water bottles that young kids use from Monday to Friday, we appeal to the Department of Health to warn the public and recall the tainted products at once,” Dizon said.

Dizon cited the move by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2008 to recall 18,000 pieces of “made in China” metal water bottles for containing “excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.”

To guide parents in picking safe reusable water bottles, the EcoWaste Coalition suggests the following:

1. For plastic-based water bottles, check the plastic number on the bottom of the container and avoid plastic numbers 3 (polyvinyl chloride or PVC plastic, which has toxic additives called phthalates), 6 (polystyrene, noting that styrene is on the possible carcinogens list of the US Department of Health and Human Services) and 7 (polycarbonate or PC plastic, which contains BPA).

2. For aluminum and stainless steel water bottles, avoid those coated with paint, particularly yellow paint, unless certified as not containing lead. Also, pick items that are labeled “BPA-free.”

3. Another option is to use glass-lined thermoses or glass bottles with protective sleeve, which should be transported and used carefully to avoid breakage.

The EcoWaste Coalition is a national network of more than 150 public interest groups pursuing sustainable and just solutions to waste, climate change and chemical issues towards the envisioned Zero Waste 2020 goal.

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1 comment:

Maria said...

Making use of reusable bulk container is always the best idea for liquid transportation which can be recycled easily.
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