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Dangerous levels of lead found in playgrounds across PHL –EcoWaste

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition warned that several playgroundswere not safe for children as some of the play equipment were found to have dangerously high levels of lead in them.

“The high levels of lead detected on the paint of outdoor playground equipment are very worrisome and unacceptable,” EcoWaste Chemical Safety Campaigner Thony Dizon said their study.

Titled “Lead in Playground Equipment in the Philippines,” the study showed that 50 out of 55 play equipment analyzed have total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), the limit set by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Moreover, 42 lead-coated playground equipment had lead levels above 10,000 ppm.

Dizon said the paint would deteriorate after repeated use and exposure to both sun and rain. The paint would then get into the dust and soil that could be ingested by children.

EcoWaste examined lead-coated playground equipment using handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) chemicals analyzer in 12 out of 14 public playgrounds around the country.

Given their findings, EcoWaste and its study collaborator, non-government organization, IPEN, are calling for the enforcement of the ban on lead in all paints.

“The findings of the EcoWaste Coalition should trigger a review as to how the country’s lead paint regulations are being enforced and how these can be strengthened,” IPEN’s  Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaigner Jeiel Guarino said.

EcoWaste made the call on the occasion of UN-backed International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, which is observed from October 20-26.

The group assembled at the Caloocan City People’s Park to promote a lead-safe play environment for all Filipino children.

The World Health Organization (WHO) had warned that lead exposure affects human health, especially in children. There was no known level of lead exposure without harmful effects. Even low levels of lead exposure could cause lifelong health problems.

According to the WHO, childhood lead exposure is estimated to contribute to about 600,000 new cases of intellectual disabilities in children every year. — Joviland Rita/DVM, GMA News