‘Zombies’ back lead-free PH
To mark the 10-week countdown to the phaseout deadline for products with lead, including paint, toxics watchdog Eco-Waste Coalition led a “Zombie Run” at the Quezon Memorial Circle on Sunday and called on vendors and distributors to support lead-free products.
Children covered in lead-safe paint participated in the activity inspired by the hit US television series “The Walking Dead.” Dubbed the “toxic zombies,” some of them performed a “Walking Lead” number while others joined a fun run for “health and safety.”
At the end of the race, the “zombies” dropped dead to show that the sale of products containing poisonous lead has stopped in the country. Eco-Waste partners Piglas Kababaihan at Kabataan, Malaya and the Check Skill Crew were among the participants in the Zombie Run.
“With the deadline for the removal of lead-added architectural, decorative and household (ADH) paints in the Philippines just 10 weeks away, we call upon all stakeholders, particularly paint manufacturers, distributors, sellers and consumers, to rally behind this historic target that will remove a common source of lead exposure in our children’s environment,” said EcoWaste Coalition national coordinator Aileen Lucero.
She explained that the phaseout deadline for lead-containing paints on Dec. 31 was the culmination of the three-year phaseout period which started in 2013 based on Administrative Order No. 2013-24 of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“Paint companies should have already completed or nearly completed their switch to non-lead production for the ADH segment of their product line,” Lucero added.
EcoWaste noted that the DENR, the paint industry and civil society joined hands to make sure that the phaseout deadline would be observed.
Highlighting the importance of following the phaseout, the group said that lead-based paint was poisonous to humans and placed at risk children through toys and home furniture.