PH Groundbreaking Lead Paint Policy Makes It to Washington DC Forum

The country’s landmark policy phasing out lead paint continues to draw positive recognition not only locally, but internationally.

The experience of the Philippines in promulgating a national policy instrument eliminating the production and sale of lead paint will be presented at a forum today, October 29, at the Embassy of Canada in Washington DC, USA.

The forum, which is part of the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action, is sponsored by the partners of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (Lead Paint Alliance), including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organization and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

Attendees will learn about the risks posed by lead from paint and the efforts of countries to reduce this threat to the environment and to children’s health.

The forum will delve on the topic “why eliminating lead in paint is important and how countries can do it” and will include a session on case studies from countries addressing lead paint.

The UNEP Chemicals and Waste Branch had earlier written to Juan Miguel Cuna, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), saying the “Philippines would be a great example for that session, thanks to your leadership and the current progress on that issue.”

The DENR on December 23, 2013 issued Department Administrative Order 2013-24 signed by Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje, which sets a threshold limit of 90 parts per million for lead in paint and provides a phase-out target by 2016 for lead-containing decorative paints and 2019 for lead-containing industrial paints.

The DENR Environmental Management Bureau had prepared a presentation for the forum – with inputs from the paint industry led by Philippine Association of Paint Manufacturers and the civil society represented by the EcoWaste Coalition and the International POPs Elimination Network – to be presented by a designated staff from the Embassy of the Philippines.
The Lead Paint Alliance had earlier launched a toolkit at the recent International Conference on Chemicals Management (ICCM) to help government officials in crafting regulations to help control the use of lead paint.  The ICCM has a global goal of eliminating lead paint by 2020.

The toolkit features case studies on regulations establishing lead content limits in paints in the Philippines, Uruguay, the European Union and USA.