Solons call for probe on the lead-containing products in the country

LAWMAKERS are calling for a congressional probe on reports that products containing lead still abound in markets in the country.

Rep. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, Cagayan de Oro City), author of House Resolution No. 2812, said lead is a highly poisonous metal affecting every organ and system in the body and if ingested, could pose health risks.

“Long exposure to this chemical could lead to severe damage to the brain and kidneys, miscarriage for pregnant women as well as damage to nervous connections, among others,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez and his brother, Rep. Maximo Jr. (Party-list, Abante Mindanao) filed measure calling for an inquiry on reports that mugs and drinking glasses being sold in tiangges in Metro Manila contain big amounts of lead.

Rodriguez said a recent test conducted by a toxic chemicals watch group EcoWaste Coalition showed that many of the lead-containing mugs and drinking glasses are being sold in bazaars.

Rodriguez said based on the results of a chemical analysis on the 50 samples of products from sidewalk vendors in Manila, 64 percent of the samples contained from 20,700 to as much as 44,400 parts per million (ppm) of lead.

“This is nearly 500 times higher than the 90 ppm threshold under the US Consumer Product Improvement Act of 2008. This result is very troubling as many of these products come in direct contact with both an adult’s and a child’s mouth,” Rodriguez said.

Aside from lead, Rodriguez said the sample glasses and mugs were also found to contain other harmful chemicals such as arsenic, chromium, antimony and cadmium in amounts that are above safe levels.

“EcoWaste Coalition said that the presence of these chemicals increase the chances of multiple exposure to hazardous chemicals among consumers and it also pointed out that none of the products were properly labeled or contained a warning about the presence of toxic ingredients,” Rodriguez said.

He said there is a need to look into this and ensure that products containing lead are removed from the market and are prevented from entering the country as the health and even the lives of Filipinos are at stake.


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