Tagle to verify reports on lead content of John Paul statues

Evelyn Macairan (The Philippine Star) - April 25, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle yesterday vowed to verify reports that paint used on some statues of Blessed Pope John Paul II being sold in the country are tainted with lead.

Tagle said he just learned that the EcoWaste Coalition, a public interest network, came out with a study which showed that some of the statues had high levels of lead content.

Tagle said he asked for a copy of the EcoWaste report so they could seek advice from those who are knowledgeable on the issue.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) secretary-general Fr. Marvin Mejia, meanwhile, wants to know if the report has scientific basis.

The EcoWaste Coalition reportedly bought five images of Pope John Paul II, who has been described as an “environmental pope,” and discovered that these contain lead of up to almost 10,000 parts per million, way above the regulatory limit of 90 ppm.

The group conducted the screening using an X-Ray fluorescence device.

EcoWaste is worried that over time, the lead-containing paint on the surface of the statues would deteriorate, especially if these are always being touched, kissed or wiped with cloth, and could release the lead in chip or dust form that could get into the hands and mouths of people.

EcoWaste said that they purchased the images of the former pope from religious craft stores and sidewalk vendors along Oroquieta and Tayuman streets and outside Quiapo Church in Manila.

Prices of the statues reportedly range between P200 to P650.

 

BLESSED POPE JOHN PAUL CATHOLIC BISHOPS CONFERENCE OF THE PHILIPPINES ECOWASTE LEAD MANILA ARCHBISHOP LUIS ANTONIO CARDINAL TAGLE MARVIN MEJIA OROQUIETA AND TAYUMAN POPE JOHN PAUL QUIAPO CHURCH TAGLE
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