EcoWaste: Hazardous levels of lead discovered in public playgrounds across PHL

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 24, 2019   •   339

The EcoWaste Coalition has raised concerns over the dangerous amount of lead found in several playground equipment in the country.

Based on the report of the eco-group, 50 out of 55 play equipment have total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm) which is the limit set by the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Their report also added that around 42 lead-coated playground equipment have dangerously high lead levels above 10,000 ppm.

Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition Thony Dizon has raised the dangers of the lead-coated playground equipment.

“The paint will deteriorate with repeated use and exposure to sun and rain. This will cause the paint to peel and get into the dust and soil, which can be ingested by children through common hand-to-mouth behavior,” he said.

EcoWaste is also supporting United Nations’ campaign, the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action which is observed from October 20-26.—AAC

Baguio City bans sale of ‘harmful’ wet wipes brands

Robie de Guzman   •   February 24, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The city government of Baguio has banned the sale of wet wipes and other similar products containing harmful ingredients in all local establishments.

This was after the city council approved on third and final reading an ordinance penned by Vice Mayor Faustino Olowan, and signed by Mayor Benjamin Magalong on January 28.

The brands of wet wipes covered by the ban are the following: Dong Bang, Dong Bang Yao Baby Tender, Family Treasure Baby Tender, Sky Fire Baby Tender, Giggley Baby Wipes, and Super Soft Skin Care Wet Towel.

In a Facebook post, the city council said the enumerated brands of wet wipes and other similar products were allegedly found to contain harmful chemical compounds such as methylchloroisothiazolinone, methylisothiazolinone (MCI/MIT), and iodopropynyl butylcarbamate (IPBC).

The city council said that during the public consultation in November 2019, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Department of Health (DOH) recommended the prohibition of the said products.

The ordinance also cited the environmental group, EcoWaste Coalition’s warning on the presence of harmful chemical compounds in wet wipes which may trigger skin allergies and may cause contact dermatitis.

“Some of these baby wipes/products were found to be sold at the city’s grocery stores, black market, supermarkets, and convenience stores; and the continued sale of these products supposedly for hygiene is disturbing,” the ordinance read.

Pursuant to the local policy, the City Health Services Office (CHSO), in coordination with the Public Order and Safety Division (POSD) and the barangay officials, is authorized to conduct inspection in establishments and confiscate the prohibited products followed by an inventory on the confiscated items identifying the name of the establishment, its location, the type and number of the confiscated items, and the mode of disposal conducted.

Violators will be fined with P1, 000.00 for the first offense (immediate closure of business for those without business permits); P3, 000.00 for the second offense (closure of business for those without business permits until compliance); and P5, 000.00 and non-renewal of business permit for the third offense.

Individuals or business establishments that will surrender banned products will not be penalized, the city council said.

EcoWaste urges youth not to light firecrackers for safe, non-toxic new year

Aileen Cerrudo   •   December 12, 2019

Environmental group, EcoWaste Coalition urged the youth not to light any firecrackers and fireworks for a safe and non-toxic new year.

In a statement released on Thursday (December 12), the eco-group said they launched ‘Iwas Paputoxic’ to encourage families and communities to turn away from the dangerous and polluting tradition of detonating firecrackers and fireworks to welcome the New Year.

“The misuse of firecrackers and fireworks can cause blast injuries or burns that may require amputation, eye damage that may lead to blindness, tetanus, poisoning and even death with children as the most affected” Thony Dizon said, the Chemical Safety Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.

The EcoWaste Coalition further urged the public not to burn used tires on New Year’s eve which can generate loads of pollutants such as particulates, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide, and other toxic chemicals that are harmful to a person’s health and to the environment.—AAC

EcoWaste coalition calls for zero waste Undas

Robie de Guzman   •   November 1, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – An environmental group has urged the public not to litter or leave their trash behind when they visit cemeteries in line with the Catholic community’s observance of Undas this Nov. 1 and 2.

The EcoWaste Coalition made the call, in support of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso’s appeal to keep two of Metro Manila’s biggest and busiest cemeteries garbage-free during Undas.

The group said visitors should show more respect and refrain from committing polluting acts such throwing garbage indiscriminately, open burning, smoking and vaping, urinating and even defecating in public.

“We appeal to everyone not to leave your rubbish in the cemetery. It’s not OK to leave the cemetery in a mess. As should be expected, you have to pick up after yourself and not pass on the burden of cleaning up your own mess to others,” Jove Benosa, a zero waste Campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition said in a statement.

The group also reminded the public to refrain from bringing things wrapped in plastic and to pick clean-burning candles instead of those with poisonous lead-cored wicks.

They also urged the public to pack meals and drinks in reusable containers and avoid single-use plastics, bring just enough food to avoid spoilage or wastage, and to bring home all their discards and leftover food.

The group also reminded visitors not to smoke or vape in the cemetery.

Citing a report from the Manila Department of Public Services, the EcoWaste Coalition said 35 truckloads of garbage from Manila North Cemetery, and 26 truckloads from Manila South Cemetery were collected from Oct. 30 to Nov. 2 last year.

“With the cooperation of all sectors, including the local authorities, cemetery administrators, food concessionaires, street vendors, and the general public, we can reduce the volume of Undas trash and avoid another garbage overload in our jam-packed cemeteries,” the group said.

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