San Fernando City mayor urged to require use of lead-safe paints in gov’t construction projects

October 28, 2021 - 5:14 PM
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Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

An environmental organization recently called on a provincial chief executive to enact an ordinance that regulates the use of lead-safe paints.

EcoWaste Coalition released a copy of the proposal from Mother Earth Foundation Philippines (MEF) on Facebook on October 26.

The proposal letter was addressed to Mayor Edwin Santiago of San Fernando City, Pampanga.

The coalition noted that they made this proposal in line with the commemoration of the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week that runs from October 24 to 30, 2021.

“On the occasion of the International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Mother Earth Foundation PH sent a proposal letter to Mayor Edwin Santiago for the enactment of an ordinance that will make it mandatory for publicly-funded construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities in the City of San Fernando to use certified lead-safe paints,” EcoWaste said in the post.

In the letter, MEF emphasized that the ordinance for lead-safe paints will further help promote environmental health in construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities in the city.

“On the occasion of the UN-backed International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week on 24-30 October 2021, MEF is very pleased to propose to the City Government of San Fernando to enact an ordinance that will make it mandatory for publicly-funded construction, maintenance and renovation projects and activities in the city to use certified lead-safe paints,” the foundation said.

“This ordinance, we believe, will further contribute to improving the city’s positive track record in promoting environmental health through the non-use of leaded paints, which the national government has banned to protect human health and the environment,” it added.

MEF also explained the serious consequences of lead exposure for children and other vulnerable groups, including pregnant women and workers.

The adoption of the ordinance will help prevent these effects on the city’s residents.

“The World Health Organization, which classifies lead as one of the ‘ten chemicals of major public health concern’, has warned that ‘young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system,” MEF said.

If the ordinance is enacted, the City of San Fernando will be the third city in the country to have its own lead-safe pain procurement policy, after the cities of Davao and Quezon.

International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week

The global environment event is an initiative of the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (the Lead Paint Alliance) that is led by WHO and the UN Environment Programme.

On WHO’s website, it was stated that the objectives for this week-long call for action are the following:

  • Raise awareness about health effects of lead exposure;
  • Highlight the efforts of countries and partners to prevent lead exposure, particularly in children; and
  • Urge further action to eliminate lead paint through regulatory action at country level.