Good luck charms may be bad for your healthBy Erika Sauler
Philippine Daily Inquirer
An environmental group has called on manufacturers to stop using lead-based paint in figurines after finding out that some lucky charms sold outside the Manila South Cemetery on All Saints’ Day contained high levels of the toxic chemical.
“We find it disturbing that products marketed as bringing in good luck are laden with hazardous substances such as lead that can badly harm our health and the environment,” said Thony Dizon, coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
During childhood, lead from paint is known as one of the major sources of exposure to the toxic chemical, a cumulative dangerous substance that affects multiple body systems.
Dizon explained that children may be exposed to lead as the painted surfaces of the figurines start to chip or when the figurines break, creating lead-contaminated dust.
The group bought and analyzed 15 lucky-charm figurines made from plaster of Paris from street vendors. Using a portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometer, the group detected arsenic, chromium and lead in 13 of the 15 samples.
The 13 samples contained lead ranging from 1,306 to 10,100 parts per million (ppm) exceeding the US limit of 90 ppm for lead in paint and surface coatings.