Warning Out on 3 More Leaded Paints from Thailand

Warning Out on 3 More Leaded Paints from Thailand

Quezon City, (March 26, 2024) – The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has detected lead above the regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm) in three more spray paints imported from Thailand, which are offered for sale in the domestic market.

As part of its continuing advocacy to monitor business and industry compliance with the country’s lead paint ban, the EcoWaste Coalition bought additional samples of the Thailand-made Nikko Spray Paint from hardware stores in Manila and Pasay Cities.

While the mint green and fluorescent yellow Nikko Spray Paints were found negative for lead, the dark green, wool beige, and light yellow variants were not. 

As per chemical screening using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, the dark green, wool beige, and light yellow variants contained 197 parts per million (ppm), 1,618 ppm, and 21,430 ppm of lead, respectively, way above the 90 ppm limit for lead in paint.

The EcoWaste Coalition had previously analyzed apple green, grass green, green, orange, medium yellow, and yellow Nikko Spray Paints and found them with violative levels of lead up to 52,200 ppm (medium yellow).

All the above lead-containing paint products provided no information and hazard warning about their lead content depriving consumers of their right to be informed so they can make sound purchasing decisions.

The discovery of more lead-containing paints in the market, many of which were sourced from abroad, is deeply concerning, the EcoWaste Coalition said, noting that the importation of such paints goes against the Chemical Control Order (CCO) promulgated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2013.

Also known as the DENR Administrative Order 2013-24, the CCO established a strict 90 ppm total lead limit for all paints.  It further directed the phase-out of lead-containing decorative and industrial paints in December 2017 and December 2019, respectively.

The said regulation, which obtained the prestigious Future Policy Award in 2021 (special category on lead paint), applies to paint manufacturers, importers, and distributors.  Paints sold locally, including those sourced overseas, must not exceed the 90 ppm limit, the most stringent standard for lead in paint across the world.

As stated by the World Health Organization (WHO), which considers lead among the ten chemicals or groups of chemicals of major public health concern, “Lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system.”

“It also causes long-term harm in adults, including increased risk of high blood pressure and kidney damage. Exposure of pregnant women to high levels of lead can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, and low birth weight. There is no permissible level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects,” the WHO said. (PR)