Toxics Watchdog Urges Erap to Ensure Lead-Safe Playgrounds for Manila’s Kids

A watchdog group promoting children’s safety from toxic exposure today
urged Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada to ensure that lead-safe paints are used in
refurbishing the city’s public recreational and sport facilities.
Through a letter delivered today, the EcoWaste Coalition requested Estrada to
instruct the Parks Development Office (PDO) and the Public Recreations Bureau (PCB)
to use lead-safe paints in ongoing park and facility renovations. 
“We reiterate our push for a lead-safe repair and restoration as some of the
city’s basketball courts and playgrounds get much-needed facelift,” wrote Sonia
Mendoza, President, EcoWaste Coalition.  
Mendoza recalled that the EcoWaste Coalition reported to Estrada in 2014 the
sorry state of the nine basketball courts and playgrounds that the group
inspected and found the “lead paint coated flooring and equipment chipping and
flaking off, posing chemical hazard.”
“Many of the playground equipment were partially, if not totally, wrecked,
posing physical hazard,” she added.
protect Manila children’s health and uphold their well-being, the group wrote
anew to Estrada to request the city’s chief executive to instruct the PDO,
PCB  and other relevant offices involved
in procurement and supply, building design and construction and facility
renovation to:
“a.  Buy and use only lead-safe paints
for city government-owned facilities such as parks, playgrounds, schools, day
care centers, sports centers, multi-purpose halls, as well as healthcare
amenities;” and 
“b.  Observe proper procedures for the
removal of old paints that might contain lead compounds to avoid the dispersal
of hazardous lead-containing dust.”
“Mayor Estrada’s instruction will guide those in charge of constructing or
renovating parks, playgrounds, schools and other children and youth-oriented
facilities to buy and use latex or water-based lead paints (which generally do
not contain lead), as well as solvent-based enamel coatings, epoxy enamel
paints and anti-corrosive metal primers that contain no lead,” Mendoza said.

requested instruction will be in line with a Manila City Council Resolution
adopted in 2014, which called upon the City Government “to adopt and pursue a
lead safe paint procurement policy” and “to issue a directive to reflect such
requirement in the procurement procedures,” Mendoza pointed out.

architectural, household and decorative paints as per DENR Administrative Order
2013-024 will be phased out by December 2016, making it illegal to manufacture
and sell such leaded paints 1 January 2017.