Banned water color sets still in Cebu City stores
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - June 23, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Some Cebu City retailers are still selling locally-manufactured water color sets the government recently banned for containing high levels of lead, a chemical poison that can harm the brain.

The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog group based in Quezon City, discovered the illegal trade after conducting test buys in 14 retail outlets in Cebu City last June 15 and buying the banned “Artex Fine Water Colors.”

The Coalition’s Alert Toxic Patrol bought the banned water color sets for P40 to P64.95 at four stores along Osmeña Boulevard corner P. Gullas Street, Briones Street, Magallanes Street and P. Burgos Street The banned items were not found in the rest of the stores.

Last June 14, the Coalition also bought the same banned school art material in three retail shops in Lapu-Lapu City.

Aileen Lucero, coordinator of the Coalition, in a statement said that buying the lead-contaminated water colors is unlawful as she asked Cebu retailers to remove them from store shelves and return to the manufacturer for environmentally-sound disposal.

“To ensure compliance, we requested FDA’s (Food and Drugs Administration’s) field officers in the province to go store-hopping, confiscate the banned items and charge disobedient businessmen,” Lucero said.

Last May 29, FDA  issued Advisory No. 2014-044 recalling Artex Fine Water Colors after laboratory tests detected lead in excess of the maximum tolerable limit of  90 parts per million.

FDA’s action stemmed from a complaint filed last April by the Coalition with the Department of Trade and Industry – Bureau of Trade Regulation and Consumer Protection.

Under the “Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds” issued by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on December 2013, lead is strictly prohibited in the production of school supplies and toys. — (FREEMAN)

ADVISORY NO AILEEN LUCERO ALERT TOXIC PATROL ARTEX FINE WATER COLORS BRIONES STREET BUREAU OF TRADE REGULATION AND CONSUMER PROTECTION BURGOS STREET THE CEBU CITY CHEMICAL CONTROL ORDER DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES
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