Philippines plays catch up on lead regulation

By Simon Pitman

- Last updated on GMT

Philippines plays catch up on lead regulation

Related tags Cosmetics

The Philippines government has introduced laws to ban the use of lead in a host of consumer products, including cosmetics and personal, in a move that brings it up to speed with other Asian countries.

Pressure has been mounting from environmental groups in the country to ban the uses of lead, which is said to be an environmental hazard that is highly toxic and very difficult to remove once pollution has occurred.

Exposure or ingestion of lead can cause significantl harm in humans, mainly affecting the nervous system and vital organs, as well as the development of children.

Regulations strengthens control of lead

The Philippines Department of Environment and Resources (DENR) says the new regulation strengthens the control of lead and its compounds in the local production of consumers products, as well as its import, sales and distribution in the country.

The regulation also falls in line with Asian and global regulation that has specifically targeted lead in paint, one of the primary causes of lead pollution.

“The Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds is a result of numerous consultations with various stakeholders with the intention of reducing unreasonable risks and injuries to people as a result of their exposure to the chemical as well its negative impact on the environment,”​ DENR Secretary Ramon J. P. Paje said.

Lead not used as an ingredient in cosmetics, but...

Although lead has never been an intentionally added ingredient of any cosmetic or personal care products, it is found naturally in air, water and soil, which means its can occasionally show up as a trace element in products.

However, the new regulations does stipulate that a range of consumers products, including cosmetics, food and drink and toys will have to comply with the new regulation, Order No. 203-24.

For cosmetic and personal care manufacturers in the Philippines, the regulation means that any manufacturing that may include lead or lead components is required to register with the DENR’s Environmental Management Bureau.

Compliance means registration and safety data

Likewise, applicants are also required to provide a Safety Data Sheet to ensure that any processing of the chemical meets environmentally-sound standards.

“Since lead is a toxic substance, the regulation covers not only the production process, but starts at the importation of the chemical to transport, recycling and even up to disposal of lead-containing wastes,”​ Paje said.

“Thus, the order also covers not only the manufacturers or industrial users but also the importers, distributors, recyclers, as well as the waste service providers like the transporters, waste treaters and disposers.”

Related topics Regulation & Safety

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