MANILA, (PNA) — Fitness and recreation equipment at the Quezon Memorial Circle have reduced levels of lead, according to an environmental group on Sunday.
After being alerted of the hazards posed by the extremely leaded equipment in the park, the Quezon City government started renovating the centers last year to meet the allowable lead requirement in the draft Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
From having outrageously high lead concentrations reaching up to 320,000 parts per million (ppm) in 2012, the group, EcoWaste Coalition said that there was a dramatic drop in the amounts of lead detected in various types of play and work-out equipment in the park.
The group analyzed a total of 40 samples, including 16 newly-installed equipment imported from South Korea, four new stainless steel equipment, 10 refurbished equipment and 10 picnic table and chair sets.
All the four stainless steel equipment and the 10 sets of red oxide painted tables and chairs showed no detectable levels of lead, the group said.
Thony Dizon, Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition’s Project said that while there were still varying levels of lead detected in some of the new and old equipment, their concentrations were very much lower compared to what was found in 2012.
“For instance, a leg press equipment that we tested last year had 320,000 ppm of lead. A similar equipment we recently analyzed had 5,221 ppm of lead,” Dizon said.
“A twin arm warmer equipment last year indicated over 100,000 ppm of lead and a comparable equipment this year showed 259 ppm of lead,” he added.
The limit for lead in paint and surface coatings is 90 ppm under the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and in the draft Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
As the local government expands its renovation efforts to cover other parks and playgrounds in Quezon City, the EcoWaste Coalition urged Mayor Bautista to aim for unleaded public facilities during his second term of office.
“By adopting and applying non-lead, non-toxic green procurement policy, we know that the city’s parks and other public amenities will truly become child and family-friendly,” Dizon said.
“Suppliers should be required to provide only ‘no lead added’ equipment to replace the tainted ones, or unleaded paint to patch up the expended ones,” he added.