The EcoWaste Coalition denounced the continued sale of a “made in China” paint brand, which claims to be “lead free” when in fact some of its colors are contaminated with high levels of lead, a potent neurotoxin. 

The group, which is working with government and industry stakeholders to get the national lead paint ban effectively enforced, detected lead above the 90 parts per million (ppm) limit in five variants of 250 ml Sinag Paint Aerosol that it bought last June 1 for P68 each from a retail store in San Pablo City, Laguna Province.

Aside from the “lead free” mark, Sinag Paint Aerosol also contains the following text on the label: “Sakto size, swak sa budget.”

With the aid of a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, the group detected 70,070 ppm,  46,740 ppm and 32,730 ppm on orange yellow, deep yellow and canary yellow Sinag spray paints, respectively. 

The jade green and orange red Sinag spray paints were also found to contain 18,220 ppm and 11,130 ppm lead.

Lead above 90 ppm was not detected on the Honda red and tangerine red Sinag spray paints, indicating the availability of alternatives to lead used as pigment, drier or as anti-corrosive agent in paint manufacturing. 

Six of the analyzed Sinag spray paints were manufactured in May 2022 (one was made in September 2021), or after the phase-out deadlines for leaded decorative and industrial paints in December 2016 and December 2019, respectively. 

While the label provides for the production and expiration dates and country of manufacture of Sinag Paint Aerosol, no information was given regarding the product’s manufacturer, importer or distributor and its address. 

The mislabeled “lead free” Sinag Paint Aerosol provides a good reason why paints should undergo third-party certification to confirm compliance to the 90 ppm limit for lead in paint, the EcoWaste Coalition said. 

According to the group, paint products should be independently certified to give consumers the assurance that the product they are buying will not contribute to lead exposure and poisoning incidents, especially for children and other vulnerable groups.