04 September 2017

EcoWaste Coalition Finds Imported Kiddie Furniture Coated with Lead Paint, Urges Government to Seize Dangerous Products to Avoid Children’s Exposure to Lead



A watch group on toxic chemicals, products and wastes, today urged the authorities to stop the illegal sale of imported children’s chairs due to violations of the country’s lead paint standard.

The EcoWaste Coalition said the yellow surface paint on the metal frame of the children’s furniture in question contained high concentrations of lead in excess of 90 parts per million (ppm), a violation of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2013-24.

The group obtained the imported products on September 2 and 4  from discount stores in Caloocan and Pasay Cities for P180 for a chair with backrest and "SpongeBob SquarePants" design and P125 for a folding chair with a "Fiore" design.

The totally unlabeled products lack the required market authorization from health authorities in the form of toy and childcare article (TCCA) notifications.

As per the group’s screening using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) device, the yellow paint on the metal tube frame of the chair with backrest had a total lead content of 1,171 ppm, while that of the folding chair had 1,256 ppm.

“We urge the authorities to seize these chairs marketed for children and have them returned to their manufacturer at the expense of their importer or distributor,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of  the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“At the same time, we remind consumers to exercise their rights to be informed and to be protected against hazardous goods that may expose young children to health-damaging chemicals like lead,” he added.

The EcoWaste Coalition warned that the leaded paint on the metal frame will break or chip over time, spreading hazardous flakes and dust in the surroundings that children can ingest through their usual hand-to-mouth behavior.

DENR A.O. 2013-24, or the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds, prohibits total lead content above 90 ppm in architectural, decorative and household paints. 

Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) Memorandum Circular 2016-010 further clarified that the use of paints with more than 90 ppm of lead in toys and children’s products, including home furnishings like chairs, shall be prohibited by December 31, 2016.

According to a report on “Childhood Lead Poisoning” by the World Health Organization (WHO), “the  consequences  of   brain  injury  from  exposure  to  lead  in  early  life are  loss  of   intelligence,  shortening  of   attention  span  and  disruption  of  behavior.”


“The  human  brain  has  little  capacity  for  repair,  these effects  are  untreatable  and  irreversible.  They cause diminution in brain function and reduction in achievement that last throughout life,” the WHO pointed out.

The WHO has warned that “children are particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively low levels of exposure can cause serious and in some cases irreversible neurological damage,” stressing “there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.”

-end-

Reference:

http://chemical.emb.gov.ph/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/MC-2016-010.pdf
http://server2.denr.gov.ph/uploads/rmdd/dao-2013-24.pdf

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

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