BAGUIO

Toxic chemicals found at children’s playground

ENVIRONMENT advocates appealed to the contractor of the children’s park at Burnham Park to consider the safety and health of the children.

Thony Dizon, chemical safety campaigner of the Eco Waste Coalition, appealed to the contractor to initiate remedial steps, with concurrence from the city authorities, to hasten the inauguration of the newly-installed play facilities that are reportedly lead-safe and compliant with toy safety regulations.

Dizon said high levels of lead on painted play facilities at the children’s playground were detected echoing concerns of Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong.

Magalong refused acceptance of the project due to poor workmanship to which, Inca Philippines, the contractor vowed to correct the five sets of multi-functional play equipment mounted on a concrete base at the children’s park at Burnham Park.

EcoWaste Coalition reiterated the need to replace the old swings at the children’s playground, which are still operational to date, noting that the swings are coated with lead-containing paints warning on the lead-coated playground equipment poses lead poisoning risk for park visitors, especially for young children.

“As the paint on the play equipment chips and wears with repeated use, the lead in the deteriorating paint is released, contaminating the surrounding areas,” the group said, adding that “children playing in the park get dust or soil on their hands and ingest it through usual hand-to-mouth behavior,” Dizon said.

World Health Organization (WHO) studies show when used in homes, schools, and playgrounds, lead paint can be a source of lead exposure to children, who easily ingest dust, soil or paint chips by putting their hands in their mouths, lead is especially dangerous to children’s developing brains, and can cause reduced intelligence quotient (IQ) and attention span, impaired learning ability, and increased risk of behavioral problems.


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