Group warns consumers against 37 leaded spray paints

The 37 leaded spray paints

Paint products in aerosol cans containing shocking levels of lead are still offered for sale by offline and online retailers despite the ban on such paints, according to the toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition.

For its latest lead paint investigation, the group procured a total of 60 spray paints representing 16 brands that were obtained from online dealers and from various retail stores in 11 cities, including Angeles, Antipolo, Batangas, Calamba, Lucena, Mabalacat, Malolos, Manila, Paranaque, San Fernando, and San Jose del Monte Cities.

Costing P55 to P340 each, the samples were mostly imported from China and Thailand.

The samples were initially screened for lead through a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer and the 37 samples that exceeded the 90 parts per million (ppm) limit were subsequently submitted to SGS, a private testing company, for confirmatory total lead content analysis.

Painted laths sent to the laboratory for lead content analysis

Laboratory test results confirmed that the 37 samples representing 11 brands contained violative lead concentrations up to 97,100 ppm.  Of the 37 samples, 30 had extremely high lead concentrations in excess of 10,000 ppm, and of these 30 samples, 23 had lead above 40,000 ppm. The remaining seven samples had lead levels between 428 to 4,850 ppm.

Here’s the list of top 15 samples with the highest lead concentrations:

1.  Meng Qi Bo Shi Qi Pai Zidong Penqi (grass green), 97,100 ppm
2.  Koby Spray Paint (medium yellow), 95,800 ppm
3.  One Take Spray Paint (green), 88,900 ppm
4.  King Sfon Aerosol Spray Paint (lemon yellow), 86,300 ppm
5.  King Sfon Aerosol Spray Paint (orange red), 85,800 ppm
6.  Sinag Paint Aerosol (lemon yellow), 85,800 ppm
7.  Korona Spray Paint (yellow), 64,800 ppm
8.  Haifei Spray Paint (light green), 64,000 ppm
9.  Haifei Spray Paint (art yellow), 62,000 ppm
10.  Silvestre Spray Paint (high temp yellow), 54,300 ppm
11.  Meng Qi Bo Shi Qi Pai Zidong Penqi (lemon yellow), 51,900 ppm
12.  Standard Aerosol Spray Paint (post green), 51,800 ppm
13.  Korona Spray Paint (orange), 50,900 ppm
14.  King Sfon Aerosol Spray Paint (yellow), 50,100 ppm
15.  Standard Aerosol Spray Paint (deep yellow), 48,900 ppm

“We find it very disappointing to find more lead-containing spray paints being sold at retail stores and online shopping sites in violation of the national ban on paints with lead content in excess of the maximum limit of 90 parts per million (ppm),” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

“The unlawful importation of non-compliant paint products has to stop right away.   We urge our customs, trade, environmental and health regulators to take swift action to prevent children’s and workers’ exposure to such paints with added lead, a cumulative poison affecting multiple body systems, including the brain and the central nervous system,” said Manny Calonzo, Lead Paint Elimination Campaign Adviser, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN).

Promulgated in 2013 just before Christmas, the CCO issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) stipulates a maximum limit of 90 parts per million (ppm) for lead in paint, and sets a three-year period (2013-2016) to phase-out leaded decorative paints and a longer six-year period (2013-2019) for leaded industrial paints.

Aside from proposing immediate regulatory action, the EcoWaste Coalition reminded consumers to refrain from buying inadequately labeled and uncertified paint products, while urging manufacturers, including those that export paints to the Philippines, to obtain third-party Lead Safe Paint® certification to help consumers in picking paints without lead in excess of the 90 ppm limit.