Full compliance by December 2016: Groups support lead phaseout
Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon (The Freeman) - December 22, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - In a manifestation of unity, the government, the industry and the civil society reiterated their agreement to promote full compliance to the phase-out of paints for architectural, decorative and household (ADH) uses by December 2016.

The Environmental Management Bureau, Philippine Association of Paint Manu-facturers and the EcoWaste Coalition restated their commitment, through a press statement, to mark the second anniversary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 2013-24, also known as the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds.

DENR A.O. 2013-24 signed by DENR Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje on December 23, 2013  provides for the regulatory framework that limits total lead content in paint at 90 parts per million and establishes a phase-out period from 2013-2016 for leaded ADH paints, and from 2013-2019 for leaded industrial paints.

In a statement, DENR Assistant Secretary Juan Miguel Cuna and concurrent EMB director said that the phase-out of lead-based paints in the Phi-lippine market is ongoing and they are targeting to drastically reduce the risk from lead paint chips and dust, which are recognized as major sources of children’s exposure to lead.

”As there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe for any child, let us be vigilant and support efforts to make the Philippines meet the global goal of eli-minating lead paint,” Cuna said.

In the same statement, Vergel Dyoco, chairperson of the Technical Committee of PAPM, which includes 23 paint manufacturing companies said that paint manufacturers in the country are in various stages of removing lead compounds as pigments for enamel or oil-based paints. 

“We are pleased to confirm that a growing number of paint companies, including small and medium-sized paint makers, are reformulating their products to meet the regulatory limit for lead for all types of paints with high priority given to paints most likely to contribute to childhood lead exposure such as those used on houses, schools and products such as toys,” Dyoco said.

Sonia Mendoza, president of EcoWaste Coalition said that the next 12 months will be crunch time for paint companies that have yet to complete the reformulation of lead-containing ADH paints.

“We are confident that the transition to non-lead paint production will gather further speed as the government, industry and ci-vil society rally behind the enforcement of DENR A.O. 2013-24.   There is no turning back on protecting Filipino children from being harmed by lead in paint and dust,” Mendoza said.

Lead exposure in children, according to the World Health Organization, impairs the developing brain and causes neurological deficits.

It is associated with decreased intelligence as measured by IQ tests, reduced school performance, increased violent behavior and incarceration rates, increased cased of mild mental retardation, and decreased labor productivity as measured by lifelong earning potential. —(FREEMAN)

ACIRC ASSISTANT SECRETARY JUAN MIGUEL CUNA CHEMICAL CONTROL ORDER DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT BUREAU LEAD LEAD AND LEAD COMPOUNDS PAINT PAINTS PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF PAINT MANU SECRETARY RAMON J
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