Tourists warned of lead coated ukulele souvenirs

July 26, 2013 10:59 am 

By Paula Navarra

MANILA, July 25 (PNA) — The string instrument Ukulele sold in souvenir shops in Cebu and Lapu-lapu cities were recently found to be coated with lead paint.

These findings were disclosed by the Philippine Earth Justice Center, Cebu City and EcoWaste Coalition, Quezon City.

The groups bought six ukulele samples P100 to P200, the six samples were analyzed using an X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer.

According to the coalition, the samples contained lead levels above the limit of 90 parts per million (ppm).

“Sample one had 13,900 ppm of lead, sample two 10,100 ppm, sample three 7,321 ppm, sample four 2,417 ppm, sample five 2,192 ppm and sample six 649 ppm,” the coalition said in a statement.

They also found traces of arsenic (up to 2,113 ppm), cadmium (up to 69 ppm), chromium (up to 9,849 ppm) and mercury (up to 63 ppm) on the painted designs.

“Cebu-made toy ukuleles are among the top picks for local and foreign tourists as nice and affordable giveaways to kids,” Gloria Estenzo-Ramos, Coordinator of PEJC said in a statement.

“It’s essential that such a popular memento does not present any lead paint hazard to child users,” she added.

Thony Dizon, Cooridinator of the EcoWaste Coalition stressed that leaded paint on the ukulele will come off and get mixed with dust that gets into the children’s hands and mouths.

“There is no level of childhood exposure to lead that is considered safe,” he emphasized in a statement

PEJC and the EcoWaste Coalition insists that ukulele makers provide “non-toxic” labels on their products after due laboratory analysis and certification. (PNA)



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