EcoWaste: ‘Dangerous level’ of lead found at Baguio’s Burnham Park
BAGUIO CITY – All 17 equipment at the Children’s Parks within the famed Burnham Park here were found to contain dangerously high levels of lead, environmental group EcoWaste Coalition said on Monday.
In a statement, the Quezon City-based group said a screening done on Oct. 18 revealed that all 17 painted equipment like monkey bars, seesaws, and swings exceeded the 90 parts per million (ppm) regulatory limit set under Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 2013-24, or the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds.
Through a portable X-Ray Fluorescence o XRF device, 11 playground equipment contained more than 100,000 ppm, an extremely high level of lead.
EcoWaste Coalition said it also discovered paint chips scattered across the ground near the play equipment supposedly coated with lead-contained paint.
“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,” said Thony Dizon, chemical safety campaigner of EcoWaste Coalition.
A potent neurotoxin, high lead contents can pose a serious poisoning risk to children, said the group.
The EcoWaste Coalition said a letter was sent to Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Monday to notify him of the screening results at Burnham Park.
The screening is part of a study on the lead content of play equipment in 14 public playgrounds in 10 cities all over the Philippines, which included Baguio City, as part of the UN-backed International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action.
In their letter, the group urged Magalong to replace the lead-coated play equipment with lead-safe paints and augment the P20-million budget for the re-development of Burnham Park to include the procurement and installation costs for lead-safe play equipment.
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