EcoWaste Coalition warns vs. lead-laden aerosol paints

Published December 22, 2020, 3:15 PM

by Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz

Environmental health organization EcoWaste Coalition appealed to consumers to practice vigilance to thwart the illegal sale of aerosol or spray paints.  These products are laden with high concentrations of lead, a toxic chemical that is banned in the manufacture of paints.

In its regular monitoring, EcoWaste detected dangerously high lead levels in 13 new spray paints.  The group is observing the seventh anniversary of the groundbreaking Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on December 23, 2013.  

“We urge consumers to be extra careful when purchasing spray paints as some of them may contain excessive lead above the regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm). For a healthy home and a safe environment, be sure to ask for, buy and use paints with no added lead,” EcoWaste chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon said.

“Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers of spray paints with lead additives, including those selling them online, should discontinue such illegal trade that goes against the goal of eliminating lead paint to protect public health and the environment,” he said.   

The group purchased 25 spray paints costing from P79.50 to P230 each from retail stores and online sellers and had them screened for lead using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analytical device.

Out of 25 spray paints, 13 were found to contain lead ranging from 2,588 to 49,300 ppm, way in excess of the 90 ppm total lead content limit under the CCO.  

In addition, 10 of the 13 paints contained dangerously high lead concentrations above 10,000 ppm. 

Of these 13 lead-containing spray paints, eight had no manufacturers’ information.

EcoWaste said among the 13 lead-containing paints were Colorz Chisai Acrylic Spray Paint (green and yellow), F1 Aerosol Spray Paint (green, orange yellow and yellow), MR. D.I.Y. Spray Paint (green, orange, sugar cane), Sanvo Aerosol Paint (green), Super 7 Acrylic Spray Paint (green and yellow), and Veslee Aerosol Paint (green and yellow).

Lead was not detected in the other 12 samples, including four Weber spray paint products by a local paint manufacturer, it added.

Last July, EcoWaste also revealed the presence of 37 spray paints with violative levels of lead, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) subsequently banned through Advisory No. 2020-1585.

According to the public health warning issued by the FDA, “lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children (who) 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,” the FDA said.