Advocacy Ban Plastics Lead Paint Toxic Products

EcoWaste Coalition Raises Concern Over Safety of Kids’ Reusable Water Bottles (14 Out of 30 Water Bottles Found Coated with Leaded Paint)

Reusable water bottles WITH lead (above).
Reusable water bottles WITHOUT lead.


An environmental group tracking toxic chemicals in
children’s products sounded the alarm over excessive levels of lead on the
surface coatings of some reusable water bottles that are popular among
school-going kids.
“While recognizing their ecological and financial benefits, we find it
worrisome that some reusable water bottles fail to live up to basic chemical
safety and product labeling requirements,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the
Project Protect, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Kid-safe reusable water bottles should not only be easy-to-carry, lightweight,
leak-proof and durable, but must be properly labeled and free of harmful
chemicals that can put a child’s health and development at risk,” he pointed
Out of the 30 aluminum, stainless steel and plastic water bottles bought by the
group for P15 to P344 each, 14 samples were found to contain elevated amounts
of lead up to over 100,000 parts per million (ppm), way beyond the US limit of
90 ppm for lead in paint and surface coatings.
The samples were obtained from various shops in 168 Shopping Mall, 999 Shopping
Mall, 11/88 Shopping Mall, Lucky Chinatown Mall, Tutuban Mall and New Divisoria
Mall in Manila City, as well as from retailers in Cubao, Quezon City.
Out of these 30 samples, only 4 had complete information about their
manufacturers or distributors and their contact details.


“None of
the products had information about their chemical ingredients, and none of them
carry any precautionary warning about lead and other chemicals of concerns,”
Dizon observed.“None of the samples indicated being free of bisphenol A (BPA), an
endocrine-disrupting chemical like lead, used in polycarbonate plastic, plastic
lining and plastic spout,” he stated.

“Also, only one out of seven plastic samples had a ‘plastic recycling code’ on
the bottom of the container, which is useful in telling consumers the type of
plastic used on a particular plastic product,” he added.

With the help of a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, lead was
detected in the following reusable water bottles:

1. A yellow “Yapee Dog” stainless steel cannister, over 100,000 ppm
2. A yellow “high-grade vacuum flask”(0.5 liter) over 100,000 ppm
3. A yellow “Yapee Dog” stainless steel cannister, 89,600 ppm
4. A yellow “Chuannan” stainless steel bottle, 68,700 ppm
5. A yellow “Wu Xin” stainless steel cup 49,600 ppm

6. A
yellow “Tigger and Pooh” stainless steel bottle, 37,300 ppm
7. A yellow “high-grade vacuum flask”(0.5 liter) 35,700 ppm
8. A yellow, unlabelled stainless steel bottle, 34,000 ppm
9. A
yellow “Mickey Mouse and Friends” stainless steel bottle, 27,400 ppm
10. A
yellow “Wuxing” bottle, 24,800 ppm
11. A
yellow “high-grade vacuum flash” (0.35 liter) 21,500 ppm
12. A
green “Moliza” stainless steel bottle,” 4,634 ppm
13. A yellow “Dora” aluminum bottle, 3,247 ppm
14. A translucent “Guangle” orange plastic bottle, 681 ppmDizon explained that lead was detected on the painted body and cover of the
samples, noting that two samples were coated with leaded paint up to the brim,
which increases the chances of direct exposure to lead via ingestion.

Health experts consider lead as a neurotoxin that is hazardous to a young
child’s developing brain and nervous system even at low levels of exposure,
impairing cognitive and physical development that is oftentimes irreversible.

“Considering the threat to health of leaded water bottles that young kids use
from Monday to Friday, we appeal to the Department of Health to warn the public
and recall the tainted products at once,” Dizon said.

Dizon cited the move by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2008 to
recall 18,000 pieces of “made in China” metal water bottles for containing
“excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.”

To guide parents in picking safe reusable water bottles, the EcoWaste Coalition
suggests the following:

1. For plastic-based water bottles, check the plastic number on the bottom of
the container and avoid plastic numbers 3 (polyvinyl chloride or PVC plastic,
which has toxic additives called phthalates), 6 (polystyrene, noting that
styrene is on the possible carcinogens list of the US Department of Health and
Human Services) and 7 (polycarbonate or PC plastic, which contains BPA).

2. For aluminum and stainless steel water bottles, avoid those coated with
paint, particularly yellow paint, unless certified as not containing lead.
Also, pick items that are labeled “BPA-free.”

3. Another option is to use glass-lined thermoses or glass bottles with
protective sleeve, which should be transported and used carefully to avoid

The EcoWaste Coalition is a national network of more
than 150 public interest groups pursuing sustainable and just solutions to
waste, climate change and chemical issues towards the envisioned Zero Waste
2020 goal.