11 March 2018

QC NGOs Push for City Council’s Support for Proposed Lead Safe Paint Ordinance (Groups Welcome Proposed Ordinance for Lead-Free Paints in QC)

Non-government organizations in Quezon City welcomed the filing of a Proposed Ordinance (PO) that will safeguard children, women, workers and other vulnerable groups from exposures to lead, a health-damaging chemical ingredient in solvent-based paints.

Introduced and filed last month by District I Councilor Elizabeth Delarmente, PO 20CC-365, if enacted, will require the use of lead safe paints in publicly-funded construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities in Quezon City.  Delarmente is the Chairperson of the City Council’s Committee on Parks and Environment.

QC-based NGOs urged the City Council to expedite the enactment of the ordinance as its implementation will promote the public’s health, safety and welfare, as well as promote a toxic-free environment that will benefit the city’s nearly three million residents.

“We thank Councilor Delarmente for filing this timely measure in support of the national phase-out of lead-containing paints. The obligatory use of lead safe paints in city projects and activities will protect the people, especially young children, pregnant women and workers, from the harmful effects of lead,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

The ordinance is in sync with the recently-issued DILG Memorandum Circular 2018-26 enjoining the mandatory use of lead safe paints by local government units for painting jobs paid out of public funds, Dizon pointed out.Among the NGOs backing the approval of the ordinance are the EcoWaste Coalition, Action on Smoking and Health Philippines, Arugaan, Associated Labor Unions - Trade Union Congress of the Philippines, Bangon Kalikasan Movement, Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives, FCTC Alliance Philippines, Green Convergence, Health Care Without Harm, Health Futures Foundation, Health Justice, Mother Earth Foundation, Philippine Animal Welfare Society, Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, Piglas Kababaihan, ROTCHNA Multi-Purpose Cooperative and WomanHealth.


The ordinance seeks to ensure the mandatory procurement and use of duly-certified lead safe paints for painting jobs undertaken by the city through its employees, contractors and service providers and partners from the public and private sectors.

If enacted, the ordinance will prohibit the following acts:

--- procuring paints containing lead above the regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm);
--- purchasing paints that lack independent proof of compliance with regulatory standard;
--- receiving and applying donated paints that are not compliant with the lead paint regulation; and
--- using lead-containing paints in decorating public facilities and amenities such as schools, day care centers, children’s parks and playgrounds, health centers, sports complexes and multi-purpose covered courts.

The ordinance will also require protective measures to be taken when surfaces previously coated with lead paint are disturbed during repair, remodeling or repainting activities to prevent and control the formation and dispersion of lead-containing paint chips and dust.

Lead-containing paint and lead-contaminated dust are major sources of lead exposure among children that can cause irreparable damage to the brain and the central nervous system, resulting in reduced intelligence and behavioral disorders. 

According to the World Health Organization, “there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.”

-end-

Reference:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre /factsheets/fs379/en/

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