Pro-environmental group EcoWaste Coalition (EWC) asked the national government on Friday, March 11, to phase out the chemical’s use in plastic materials after finding a toxic chemical in campaign posters of six presidential candidates.
In a statement, the group disclosed that it has detected cadmium in tarpaulin posters of former Sen. Bongbong Marcos, Vice President Leni Robredo, Sen. Ping Lacson, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, and labor leader Leody de Guzman.
EWC experts found cadmium ranging from 607 to 775 parts per million (ppm) in multicolored tarpaulins and cadmium between 384 to 546 ppm in white plastic sheets. The European Union limits cadmium in jewelry plastic to 0.01 percent by weight or 100 ppm.
Aside from causing cancer, EWC Plastic Solutions Campaigner Coleen Salamat said that cadmium exposure mainly affects kidneys and bones, adding that it belongs to the World Health Organization’s list of “10 chemicals of major public health concern.”
In line with this, the group has asked the government to issue a supplemental directive since cadmium in products and materials is outside the scope of the Chemical Control Order for Cadmium and Cadmium Compounds issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in 2021.
“A supplemental regulation phasing out cadmium in plastics will be in sync with the global consensus to address the full lifecycle of plastic, including its production, design, and disposal, to end plastic pollution,” Salamat said.
“Win or lose, we hope candidates, especially those eyeing national posts, will support our push to get cadmium and other toxic chemical additives out of plastics for the sake of public health and the environment,” she added.