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DLSU-D is part of global effort against lead paints

by Environmental Resource Management Center

Posted on October 27, 2016 at 2:45 PM

The efforts of De La Salle University-Dasmarinas to use lead free paints has been cited in the Philippines' thrust against the harmful effects of lead.

The following is an excerpt from Ching M. Alano's Consumerline column on The Philippine Star published October 25, 2016:

To promote industrial compliance to the scheduled phase-out of lead-containing paints, the EcoWaste Coalition is actively promoting two complementary initiatives — the Lead Safe Paint Certification Program and the Lead Safe Paint Procurement Policy — to drive consumer demand for compliant paints.

Lead Safe Paint is an independent, third party certification program that lets customers know that the paint they are purchasing contains less than 90 parts per million (ppm) lead — the strictest regulatory standard for lead content in paint established by any government anywhere in the world.

The country’s top two paint manufacturers have totally eliminated lead from their product lines and have, in fact, received Lead Safe Paint certification.  Boysen, Nation, Titan and Virtuoso produced by Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines, Inc. and Davies from Davies Paints Philippines, Inc. have been independently certified as lead-safe.

On the other hand, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas has adopted a policy requiring the procurement and use of safer products that do not contain lead and mercury.  In a letter sent to the school administration, the EcoWaste Coalition said that “the use of lead-safe paints in decorating your school facilities and amenities will help in protecting members of your school community, particularly the young children, women of child-bearing age and the workers, from being exposed to lead in paint, dust, and soil.” It added that “by deliberately choosing to use lead-safe paints now, your university will also save funds that will be needed for properly eliminating lead-based paint hazards in the future.”

As the government’s regulation is not only limited to regulating lead in paint, the EcoWaste Coalition is also paying attention to other prohibited uses of lead, including health-damaging uses that are not explicitly covered by the regulation.

For instance, the EcoWaste Coalition on Nov. 26, 2015 disclosed its discovery of baby cribs with lead-coated ornaments that prompted the regulatory agency to clarify that children’s furniture like baby cradles are subject to the lead in paint restriction.  Recently, the group detected lead in promotional backpacks given to children, which led to the voluntary recall of such lead-laden bags last Aug. 26.  Only last Sept. 15, the group requested the Food and Drug Administration, which has jurisdiction over candles, to ban and issue a public health warning against lead-colored Chinese candles that are sold in some specialty stores.

These complementary efforts to raise awareness on the hazards of lead and promote remedial actions will certainly help the entire country in addressing this toxic threat to our children’s health and their future.  The Philippines has successfully phased out leaded gasoline.  We can do the same for lead-containing paints — and truly paint a brighter future for our children and the generations to come.