A toxics watchdog on Saturday urged the Department of Education (DepEd) to ensure that only lead-free paint is used on school buildings as the annual “Brigada Eskwela” draws near.
In a letter sent to Education Secretary Armin Luistro, the EcoWaste Coalition urged DepEd to issue An order that will make it obligatory for schools to use only lead-free paints.
“We seek Secretary Luistro’s support to reduce, if not eliminate, major sources of lead pollution in children’s environment such as lead-containing paint and dust. Lead is hazardous to health, it is particularly harmful for a child’s developing brain and body,” Aileen Lucero, the group’s coordinator, said.
The group is pursuing its campaign for lead-safe schools amid the looming implementation on January 1, 2017 of the order by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to ban the use of architectural, decorative, and household paints that contain lead.
“While the phase-out will only take effect in January next year, we find it extremely important that all schools take the deliberate decision now not to use lead-containing paints and ensure a lead-safe school environment for healthy and bright children,” Lucero said.
“We hope that the directive will be released soon to serve as guidance for the schools and their community of donors and supporters for the Brigada Eskwela on May 30 to June 4,” she added.