31 October 2013

EcoWaste Coalition Urges Cemetery Visitors to Cut Consumption of Bottled Water

One way of reducing your “waste size” during the observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day is by shrinking your consumption of bottled water to the minimum.

The EcoWaste Coalition made this suggestion following the launch of its
yearly campaign for a garbage-free Undas last Wednesday at the Manila North Cemetery.

The environmental network is actively promoting zero waste and ecological lifestyle in order to conserve the earth’s finite resources, reduce waste and toxic, and protect the public health, the environment and the climate.

“An increased demand for bottled beverages, including water and soft drinks, is expected as Filipinos troop to the cemeteries to pay homage to their departed ones or go out of town to take advantage of the long weekend,” noted Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Sadly, consumers are not informed that the unrestrained consumption of bottled water is causing waste and pollution and is consequently warming our planet,” she added.

Unknown to the consuming public, the production, transportation, consumption and disposal of bottled water is linked to a number of climate, environmental and health issues such as the formation and release of climate-warming greenhouse gases during the whole life cycle of a bottled water.

“We can cut down on our consumption of bottled water by simply bringing clean tap water on a reusable water container to the cemetery. 
There’s no need to spend for bottled water unless your water supply at home is unsafe and unhealthy,” Lucero suggested.

However, Lucero was quick to caution the public against using reusable water bottle containers with painted exteriors that may contain toxic lead, recalling that the EcoWaste Coalition in May 2013 detected lead up to over 100,000 parts per million in 14 out of 30 samples, mostly painted stainless steel canisters.

The EcoWaste Coalition also advised consumers who really need to buy bottled water to properly dispose of used polyethylene terephthalate  (PET) containers in recycling bins so as not to add to the cemetery litter and consequently to reduce harm from improperly discarded bottles.

Information from the US-based Food and Water Watch showed that the manufacture of PET bottles for bottled water consumes lots of energy and contributes to global warming.

A fact sheet published by the said group last July 2013 indicated that “the manufacture, production and transportation of bottled water is 1,100 to 2,000 times as energy intensive as the treatment and distribution of tap water and in 2007, U.S. bottled water consumption had an energy-input equivalent of between 32 and 54 million barrels of oil. Over the course of a year, that amount of energy could fuel anywhere between 1.2 and 2.1 million cars, or an average of 1.6 million cars annually.”

The fact sheet further said that “about 77 percent of PET plastic water bottles are not recycled and end up in landfills, as litter or incinerated.”

The consumption of bottled water is on the rise in many countries, including the Philippines. 

In the Philippines, according to “The World’s Water 2006-2007 Data,” national per capital consumption of bottled water rose from 16.3 liters per person in 1999 to 17.1 liters in 2004.

-end-


Reference:

30 October 2013

EcoWaste Coalition to Cemetery Goers: Keep Undas Garbage-Free







Manila City. In anticipation of the recurring garbage problems plaguing the cemeteries during the nationwide observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, environmental advocates called on the public to opt for a garbage-free and toxics-free Undas.

To press their plea, members of the EcoWaste Coalition presented a tableau showing a “dead” person rising from a faux coffin holding a placard saying “respect the dead” as the “Basura Monster” and his minions overwhelmed her with trash. 

They later paraded through the Manila North Cemetery with their black veils embellished with garbage commonly left abandoned by visitors such as plastic bags, cups and bottles,  snack wrappers and Styrofoam, as well as biodegradable discards.

The waste and pollution watchdog spearheaded this informative activity with support from the Manila North Cemetery Administration led by Raffy Mendez, and the city government of Manila led by Fernando Lugo, officer-in-charge of the Department of Public Services-District III and Clemente San Gabriel, officer-in-charge of the Division of Sanitation.

Joining the “Basura Monster” parade were civic groups Cavite Green Coalition, Cycling Advocates, Malikhaing Landas na Magpapayabong sa Sining at Kultura (MALAYA), Miss Earth Foundation and November 17 Movement.

The pre-Undas event was held amid repeated reminders from national and city authorities to observe waste prevention and reduction as Filipinos prepare to pay their respects to their departed ones on November 1 and 2.

Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner of the EcoWaste Coalition said that the faithful should express homage and appreciation for departed relatives and friends in an eco-friendly and respectful way. “As we visit and commemorate our deceased loved ones, we need to keep in mind that cemeteries are sacred place and not graveyards for our unwanted trash.”

“We must celebrate this occasion with simplicity, spirituality and utter respect for both the dead and the living by keeping the cemeteries waste-free, toxics-free and trouble-free,” she added.

Meanwhile, Manila North Cemetery OIC Raffy Mendez used the occasion to make a public appeal for a waste-free Undas.

“We look forward to reduced garbage generation this year. The cemetery management and staff can only do so much and we surely need the people to help and be involved. With the full cooperation of the visitors, vendors and other considerate citizens, we can certainly make our cemeteries cleaner places to visit for safer family and friendly gatherings,” said Mendez.

In 2012, the MMDA hauled in a total of 76 truckloads of garbage from 10 major cemeteries in just two days, including 20 truckloads from Manila North Cemetery, the worst among cemeteries in Metro Manila.

According to the National Solid Waste Commission, Metro Manila produces 8,400 to 8,600 tons of garbage daily, or about one fourth of the national daily waste generation of some 35,000 tons. The average daily waste generation in the metropolis is 0.7 kilo per person.

For her part, Miss Philippines Eco-Tourism Bernadette Aguirre emphasized that “our year-round campaigns highlight the importance of espousing a zero waste lifestyle in everything that we do at all times.”

“The observance of All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day should be no different. In recent years, we experienced severe flooding brought about by strong typhoons and heavy rains, and hopefully it instilled in us the significance and urgency of taking care of our environment. If not, nature will continually find ways to haunt us until we change our ways,” she stated.

As practical guides to those who will go to the cemeteries on Undas, the EcoWaste Coalition offers the following eco-friendly “cemetery etiquette” or “cemetiquette” tips:

1. Choose clean-burning, lead-free candles that do not yield black fumes or soot. Set alight a limited number of candles to reduce heat and pollution. Do not let candles’ plastic receptacles or holders to burn.

2. Offer local fresh flowers, not plastic ones, or consider bringing potted plants and flowers instead. Simple, inexpensive flowers will do. Avoid wrapping floral or plant offerings in plastic, which will sooner or later end up as trash.

3. Bring your own water jug to avoid purchasing bottled water. Discarded plastic bottles add up to the country’s garbage problem. Plastic bottles, which are petrochemical products, also require lots of oil and chemicals to manufacture. Please watch The Story of Bottled Water to find out why:
http://storyofstuff.org/bottledwater/

4. Go for waste-free meals. Say yes to reusable carriers, containers, and utensils such as lunchboxes and thermos, cloth napkins and silverwares. Say no to throw-away bags, wraps, foil or Styrofoam, paper napkins, and forks and spoons. Also, refrain from patronizing junk food and go for simple yet nutritious home-prepared baon.

5. Buy less or only as much as you can consume in terms of food and beverage to avoid spoilage or wastage. Bring bayong or other reusable bags to carry your stuff and purchases, and refuse plastic bags and wrappers from vendors.

6. Cut your waste size by not creating trash in the first place such as by purchasing products with the least amount of packaging and avoiding single-use plastics.

7. Don’t litter, dump or burn trash in the cemetery. Do not throw cigarette butts, candy wrappers, discarded packaging, fruit peels, etc. on the ground. Remember to leave the resting place of your loved ones litter-free.

8. Put your discards into the recycling bins if available. Better still, place them in your reusable bags and bring them home for sorting, reusing, recycling or composting.

9. Relieve yourself only in the proper place where one should. Keep the urinal or toilet bowl clean as a courtesy to the next user. Do not defecate or urinate in public places.

10. Refrain from smoking in the cemetery. Be considerate to the children, the elderly, pregnant women and others around you who may be saddled with respiratory and heart ailments.
 

-end-

29 October 2013

Horror Cosmetics: Scary Ingredient in 12 Skin Whitening Products Bared


Consumers beware: a chemical lurking in some cosmetics that promise fair and pretty skin may instead give you a terrifying look and send shivers up your spines.

The EcoWaste Coalition made the chilling warning after purchasing 12 skin whitening creams in Divisoria, Quiapo and Sta. Cruz, Manila and Cubao, Quezon City that later tested positive for mercury up to 45,100 parts per million, way above the 1 ppm regulatory limit for mercury under the ASEAN Cosmetics Directive.

“These mercury-laden products are truly scary in the real sense of the word,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Instead of the promised lighter and flawless skin, these products may in fact discolor and scar the skin, cause rashes and weaken dermal resistance to bacterial and fungal infections,” she said.

“Not only does it damage the skin, mercury harms the kidneys and the nervous system as well, obstructing healthy brain development in fetuses and children,” she added.

“The mercury ingredient in such products is a spooky secret that consumers, especially women, should be wary about when buying skin whitening cosmetics.  You don’t want to pay to get poisoned,” she emphasized.

The symptoms of inorganic mercury poisoning, a
ccording to the US Environmental Protection Agency, include skin rashes and dermatitis, mood swings, memory loss, mental disturbances, and muscle weakness.

To alert consumers about mercury-containing cosmetics and the risks associated with mercury exposure, the EcoWaste Coalition carried out the test buys and analyzed the products using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer.

“We conducted the test buys ahead of the Halloween to call attention to the frightening effects of mercury exposure through cosmetics, which are real and not just a figment of imagination,” Lucero said.

The skin whitening products, purchased from Chinese drug stores for P50 to P180 per item, and their mercury content are as follows:
1.  Yudantang Sheep Essence & Ginseng & Green Cucumber 10 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Spot & Double Whitening Sun Block Cream with 45,100 ppm
2.  Beauty Girl Egg White & Tomato 6 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle Whitening Cream with 41,700 ppm

3.  Erna Whitening Cream with 9,853 ppm
4.  Bai Li Tou Hong with 4,689 ppm
5.  Youngrace Age Defying Essence with 4, 087 ppm
6.  S’Zitang with 4,019 ppm
7.  Jiaoli 7 Days Specific Eliminating Freckle AB Set with 3,870 ppm

8.  Beauty Gemli Freckles Cream with 3,271ppm
9.  Jiaoli 10 Days Eliminating Frecke Day & Night Set with 2,549 ppm
10.  S’Zitang 7 Days Specific Whitening & Spot AB Set with 2,507 ppm
11.  Jiaoli Huichunsu Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream with 1,597 ppm

12.  Sanli Eliminating FreckleCream with 1,305 ppm

Erna, Gemli , Sanli and Jiaoli Huichunsu Specific Eliminating Freckle Cream were among the 11 mercury-loaded skin whitening creams reported by the EcoWaste Coalition to the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on August 18,  2013 and recommended for banning.

Jiaoli 7 Days, Jiaoli 10 Days, S’zitang and Youngrace were banned in 2010, Beauty Girl in 2011, Bai Li Tou Hong in 2012 and Yudantang in 2013.

None of these imported products are listed in the FDA’s list of notified cosmetics and may be deemed  illegal imports.

To avoid mercury exposure from such cosmetics, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded consumers to scrutinize the product labels, reject products with incomplete and incomprehensible information, seek registered mercury-free products and ask for official receipts, which could come handy if you need to file a complaint.

Even better, be happy, grateful, proud and secure of our skin tone, the EcoWaste Coalition said, stressing that “brown is beautiful.”
http://www.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/38963/Advisories_cosmetic_FDA%20Advisory%20No%202011-012.pdf
http://www.fda.gov.ph/attachments/article/85327/FA2013-019.pdf

 

27 October 2013

EcoWaste Coalition Urges Voters to Observe Garbage-Free Election Day; Asks Candidates to Lead Post-Campaign Clean Up and Recycling

Quezon City. On the eve of this year’s Barangay Elections, an environmental group promoting Zero Waste pleaded with the voting public to keep schools and other polling places garbage-free.

“We appeal to all voters to avoid littering as they cast their votes tomorrow,” said Tin Vergara, Zero Waste Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“Please be environmentally-responsible, shun littering and commit to a truly clean democracy that our nation can be proud of,” she urged voters.

One of the most common electoral and environmental offenses in previous elections is the shameless and unlawful distribution of sample ballots and other political propaganda materials during the Election Day.

To avoid a repeat of such offense, the EcoWaste Coalition urged voters to come to the polling precincts equipped with their own “kodiko” or list of bets to vote for, and refuse sample ballots that are illegally handed out to voters beyond the official campaign period.

In addition, the group appealed to local authorities and also to vendors to provide sufficient bins for proper waste management as the vicinity of polling places are often littered with discarded food containers, snack and candy wrappers, plastic and paper bags, as well as cigarette butts.

Littering is a clear violation of Republic Act 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act, which among others, prohibits throwing or dumping of waste matters in public places such as streets, sidewalks, parks and waterways. Violators upon conviction shall be fined between P300 to P1,000 or render community service from 1 to 15 days or both.

Meanwhile, in anticipation of the barrage of post-election garbage, the EcoWaste Coalition appeals to all candidates and their supporters to immediately remove and recycle their campaign materials after voting day.

EcoWaste Coalition National Coordinator Aileen Lucero reminded all barangay candidates, regardless of their polling performance, to “remove your campaign posters and banners without delay and recycle those that can still be safely used.”

“We ask the Commission on Elections to oblige all barangay candidates to comply with their civic duty to conduct post-election clean-up, as both winners and losers tend to forget to take down their political advertisements,” Lucero added.

The group seeks the cooperation of the public in keeping all sorts of political discards that the candidates utilized throughout their campaign out of dump sites and landfills, at the same time warning people against recycling and burning campaign materials that may possibly contain toxic chemicals. The group reiterated that open burning and open dumping violate R.A. 9003 and pose serious health threats to workers and residents.

In particular, the EcoWaste Coalition cautioned the public against recycling campaign materials made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) such as tarpaulins for food packaging or for other uses involving young children as their chemical ingredients such as cadmium, lead and phthalates may leach and cause adverse health effects.

Furthermore, burning chlorinated campaign materials such as PVC tarpaulins is dangerous as this will cause the release of hazardous by-products, including dioxins, the most toxic of all man-made chemicals.

-End-

26 October 2013

Testing of 100 Toys Bought in Baclaran Shows Toxic Metals in 50 Samples


The EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental watchdog tracking harmful chemicals in products and wastes, found half of the 100 toy samples it procured in Baclaran positive for lead and other toxic metals.

The results were released today as a finale to the group’s observance of the UN-backed International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action (October 20-26) to call attention to the lead hazard in some toys due to the use of lead in paints as pigment or drier, or as an additive in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic toys.

“50 out of the 100 assorted toy samples were found contaminated with one or more toxicants that are not properly identified on the product labels to alert consumers,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

Traces of antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury were found in half of the samples.  Lead, a potent neurotoxin, was found in 46 samples above the US regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm) for lead in paint and surface coatings.

“Children aged six years and under are most vulnerable to lead and other toxins because their brains and bodies are still developing and because of their common hand-to-mouth behavior that may cause  direct ingestion of lead in dust, soil and toys,” Dizon pointed out.  

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “lead exposure harms children at much lower doses, and the health effects are generally irreversible and can have a lifelong impact.”

Evidence of reduced intelligence due to childhood lead exposure has convinced WHO to list “lead-caused mental retardation” as a recognized disease.

“The other 50 samples were negative for toxic metals signifying that manufacturers can make toys sans hazardous substances and still profit from it.  The presence of such substances in toys that can harm children’s health is indefensible,” Dizon stated.

The 10 toy samples that showed the highest levels of lead include:

1.  An unlabeled yellow painted metal chair with back rest with 43,100 ppm.
2.  An unlabeled cow coin bank with 8,761 ppm.
3.  An unlabeled rug doll with yellow PVC plastic dress with 7,014 ppm.
3.  A “Fashion Doll” wearing green PVC plastic dress with 5,027 ppm.
4.  A “Ji Hua” jumping rope (green cord) with 4,279 ppm.
5.  An unlabeled rug doll with orange PVC plastic dress with 4,082 ppm.
6.  A unlabeled pig coin bank with 2,740 ppm.
7.  A “Cars”-labeled green mini-car with 2,344 ppm.
8.  A “Ben 10” toy watch with 1,962 ppm.
9.  A “Kidz Corner Pocket Billiard” set with 1,421 ppm.
10 . A “Ji Hua” Jumping rope (black cord) with 931 ppm.

The toys were procured on October 18 and 19 by the EcoWaste Coalition’s AlerToxic Patrol for P50 to P285 each, mostly from Baclaran discount stores in ParaƱaque and Pasay Cities, and subsequently screened for toxic metals using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer.


The EcoWaste Coalition initiated a monthly pre-Christmas toys sampling with the advent of the “ber” months to raise the awareness of consumers and motivate them to exercise their rights.  Last September, the group detected lead and other chemicals of concern in 94 out of 200 samples (47%) obtained from retailers in Divisoria, Manila.

With barely 60 days before Christmas, the EcoWaste Coalition has reiterated its advice to consumers, particularly parents, to be vigilant against potentially dangerous toys and other children’s products in the market.  

“Be inquisitive and insist on your right to product information and safety.  Avoid toys that are not compliant with the mandatory testing, registration and labelling requirements.  Rich or poor, everyone is entitled to non-toxic products, nothing more, nothing less,” Dizon reiterated.

-end-

Reference:

http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/childhoodpoisoning/en/

23 October 2013

Message of H.E. EU Ambassador for the Launch of the EcoWaste Coalition's Lead Paint Sampling Report

Message of H.E. European Union Ambassador Mr. Guy Ledoux
Lead Paint Elimination Project Press Conference 
October 23, 2013

Dear participants,

I would like to thank you for inviting the European Union this morning to attend the launch of EcoWaste Coalition’s lead paint sampling report and press conference.

This week marks the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week.  120 million people across the world are still overexposed to lead.  The majority of them are in the developing world and children are the most severely affected.  Lead exposure in children happens through contact with lead contaminated dust and soil in their environment.  It affects brain development leading to lower IQ, mental retardation and kidney damage.  These effects have a negative impact on school performance and are non-reversible.  600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities due to lead exposure occur every year according to the World Health Organization.

The report launched today is to our knowledge the first and most comprehensive piece of evidence showing that the danger of lead exposure in the Philippines exists.  Lead concentrations found in more than 60% of paint samples collected in the Philippines were worryingly high.  Concentrations measured by our contractor – a certified laboratory based in Italy – reached levels up to 200 times the level authorized in many countries.  Such paints are widely available to the public.  They affect us and they affect the most vulnerable of us, namely children, pregnant women and workers.

Lead is easy to replace in the majority of cases.  Alternative, less harmful chemicals exists.  Lead-free paints available on the market are not more expensive.

The EU has taken steps in order to phase out the use of lead in paint in its common market.  In 1989, members of the EU collectively banned the use of lead in paint after the adoption of a Council Directive which states that lead compounds “may not be used as substances and constituents of preparations intended for use as paints, except for the restoration and maintenance of works of art and historic buildings”.   This regulation was later completed by other directives banning the use of lead compounds in key consumption products, notably toys and cosmetics.

The Philippine government is aware of the issue and is taking steps to control the use of lead in decorative paints.  We are encouraged by recent Congress and Senate Resolutions supporting the Lead Poisoning Prevention Week as well as on-going discussions under the banner of the Environment Management Bureau to come up with a Chemical Control Order phasing out the use of lead in paint.  Those among manufacturers having voluntarily phased out the use of lead should also be commended.

The study launched today was funded by the European Union who provided a PHP 80 Million grant to implement the Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project in seven countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand).  Results so far have been very encouraging with countries such as Sri Lanka having passed recently legislation banning the use of lead in paint.

The Lead Paint Elimination Project forms part of the SWITCH Programme – an EU-funded programme implemented in 16 countries across Asia.  Seventy projects are on-going with the objective to promote sustainable consumption and clean production practices.  Four SWITCH Projects with total EU funding of PHP 400 Million are implemented in the Philippines.

Reducing exposure to lead in paints is a global public health priority.  Childhood as well as occupational exposure to lead carries huge health and economic costs.  The Philippines’ objective to eliminate lead in paints and remove the risks posed by such toxic products, especially on children, women of child-bearing age and workers is laudable.  I hope today’s press conference will serve to raise awareness on this invisible threat and bring about the necessary changes to preserve our environment and protect the health of our children.
Thank you.


EU-Funded Study Finds Dangerous Levels of Lead in Household Paints Sold in Philippines



Some paint companies in the Philippines sell paints for household use containing unsafe levels of lead, according to a new study of lead in decorative paints released by EcoWaste Coalition today. The report was released in observance of the first International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action (October 20-26) and coincided with the country’s commemoration of the “Children’s Month” and the “Consumer Welfare Month.”

Lead in a majority of the paints analyzed exceeded the 90 parts per million (ppm) limit proposed under a draft Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds (CCO) prepared by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Lead is a heavy metal known for its neurotoxicity that causes reduced IQs, developmental delays, speech and language problems and other health concerns. A recently-published New York University report about the economic impacts of childhood lead exposure shows that low- and middle-income countries lose US $977 billion annually due to lead-attributable IQ reduction and lifetime economic productivity losses, with the economic cost estimated to reach over US $15 billion in the Philippines, the second highest in Asia.
[1]

At a press conference, the EcoWaste Coalition disclosed that 75 of the 122 household enamel paint samples (61 percent) representing 34 brands purchased from retailers in Metro Manila, Cebu City and Davao City and sent to a government-accredited private laboratory in Italy for testing, exceeded 90 ppm, which is also the US regulatory threshold for lead in paint and surface coatings.  

Of these 75 household enamel paints that surpassed the proposed 90 ppm threshold, 48 were found to have very high levels of lead greater than 10,000 ppm, including four products with extremely high lead content above 100,000 ppm. The average lead concentration of the sampled household enamel paints is 18,500 ppm, 206 times greater than the proposed regulatory standard limit of 90 ppm.

“Our sampling results show that paints in the Philippines contain brain-damaging lead and provide yet another strong basis for the DENR to approve and enforce the CCO at once. Such action will complement and even hasten the ongoing initiatives by the paint industry and the civil society to push for non-lead paint production, certification and labelling,” said Jeiel Guarino, Policy and Communications Officer, EcoWaste Coalition’s Lead Paint Elimination Project.

Once the CCO is approved by DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, it will set a mandatory total lead limit of 90 ppm for all paints, and a phase out period of three years for architectural, decorative and household paints, and six years for industrial paints, including automotive and aviation paints.

The study was funded by the European Union who provided a PHP 80 Million grant to support the Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project. The project is implemented in seven countries (Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand). EcoWaste Coalition implements the project in the Philippines. "Reducing exposure to lead in paints is a global public health priority. Childhood as well as occupational exposure to lead carries huge health and economic costs. The European Union supports the goal of the Philippine Government to eliminate lead paints and remove the risks posed by such toxic products, especially on children, women of child-bearing age and workers." stated H.E Guy Ledoux, Ambassador of the European Union to the Philippines.

“As health experts have identified no safe blood lead level in children, the high percentage of samples with lead surpassing the proposed 90 ppm limit at 61 percent is undeniably disturbing,” said Moresa Tolibas, Technical Officer, EcoWaste Coalition’s Lead Paint Elimination Project.

“On the other hand, the fact that 38 percent of the paint samples, mostly manufactured by Philippine companies, had lead content below 90 ppm indicates that producing paints with no or low levels of lead is economically viable, technically feasible and practically achievable,” she added.

Children are not generally exposed to lead from paint while the paint is still in the can or even when the paint is being newly applied to a previously unpainted or uncoated surface. Rather, the lead exposure generally occurs after the lead paint has already dried on the wall or on the article that has been painted, the EcoWaste Coalition said. Painted surfaces deteriorate with time or when disturbed, and lead from the paint then contaminates household dust and soils surrounding the home. Children can then ingest lead from dusts and soils during customary hand-to-mouth behavior, after which neurological damage occurs, the group explained.   
-END-

Additional Information for the Media:

1.      The EcoWaste Coalition purchased 122 household paint samples on November 2012 until January 2013 from local retailers in Metro Manila, Cebu City and Davao City, which were subsequently sent via air freight to Certottica laboratory in Italy.  Certottica is accredited by ACCREDIA – the Italian Accreditation System, which is the Italian National Accreditation Body appointed by the State. This laboratory participates in the Environmental Lead Proficiency Analytical Testing (ELPAT) program operated by the American Industrial Hygiene Association under a program established by the US Environmental Protection Agency.

2.      The paint brands found to contain lead below the proposed standard limit of 90 ppm include Boysen, Canadian, Challenger, Clark Kensington, Coat Saver, Davies, Domino, Dutch Boy, E-Z Coat, Globe, Manor, Maxi-Coat, Nation, Olympic, Rust Stop, Season, Selleys, Sphero, Sunrise and Trucoat. However, some of the sampled products of the above-mentioned brands have lead greater than 10,000 ppm.
 
3.      This is the third time that the EcoWaste Coalition had paint samples analyzed for lead. In 2010, 24 of the 35 household enamel paints (69 percent) that the group sent to the University of Cincinnati in Ohio, USA, contained lead concentrations higher than 90 ppm. In 2008, 10 of the 25 enamel paint samples (40 percent) that were analyzed in a government-accredited laboratory in New Delhi, India, registered lead content above 90 ppm.

4.      IPEN’s Asian Lead Paint Elimination Project is working to eliminate lead in paint worldwide and raise widespread awareness among business entrepreneurs and consumers about the adverse human health impacts of lead-based decorative paints, particularly on the health of children under six years old. The seven Asian countries participating in the project include Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand. The project includes periodical testing of lead in paints; information and technical support to small and medium paint manufacturers, distributors and retailers to help them shift from lead-based to no-added lead paint formulations; third party certification and labelling that includes information on lead; consultation with key government institutions to enact a globally-accepted standard for lead in paints; preparation and dissemination of information, education and communication (IEC) materials, as well as awareness-raising activities about lead paint and its subsequent effects on children, public health, and the environment.

lPEN is an international NGO network with 700 participating organizations working in 116 countries that promotes safe chemical policies and practices aimed at protecting human health and environment.

EcoWaste Coalition is a national network of more than 150 public interest groups working on waste, climate, chemical, social justice and development issues. It envisages a zero waste and toxics-free Philippines and strives to attain such a vision by fostering and supporting activism around priority concerns in line with the people’s constitutional rights to health and to a balanced and healthful ecology.