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Public warned vs toxic paints

An environmental watch group has reminded school officials to keep a “vigilant-eye on lead containing decorative paints” that are harmful to human health.

The EcoWaste Coalition issued the reminder in time for the “Brigada Eskwela,” an annual project of the Department of Education (DepEd) to prepare school facilities for the resumption of classes that will start on June 4.

“We call upon all school heads and teachers to exercise the utmost vigilance to ensure that banned leaded paints are not used to decorate classroom walls, windows, doors, desks, and tables, and other school amenities during the Brigada Eskwela,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner of the group.

Lead-containing decorative paints that are typically used for homes, schools, daycare centers, and playgrounds, as well as for toys and other children’s products, have been phased out effective Dec. 31, 2016 in line with the Environmental department’s Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds, the group said.

“It is likely that old stocks of lead-containing paints are still available in hardware stores and unknowingly sold to uninformed buyers. Paint consumers have the right to be protected against hazards to health and should insist on lead-safe paints at all times,” said Dizon.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead is a toxic metal “whose widespread use has caused extensive environmental contamination and health problems in many parts of the world.”

The organization stated that children are “particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead.” (Analou de Vera)