Nexus3 Finds Outdoor Play Equipment in In Jakarta Coated with Dangerous Levels of Lead

For immediate release

22 October 2019


Yuyun Ismawati,, +44 758 376 8707

Sonia Buftheim,, +62 877 8237 8890

Jakarta, Indonesia - High levels of lead have been discovered on public playground equipment. The painted play equipment containing dangerous levels of lead pose a serious lead poisoning risk for young children.

Environmental health advocates call for urgent action to prohibit the sale and use of lead paint especially for products that can expose children to lead contamination. Jokowi’s new administration must uphold the ecological child rights to ensure a bright future of more than 50 millions Indonesian children.

The Nexus3 Foundation sounded the alarm over lead painted play equipment as the UN-backed International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action is observed from October 20-26, 2019 with focus on eliminating lead paint.

According to the report “Lead in Playground Equipment in Indonesia”, 82 out of 119 or 69% of analysed playground equipment had total lead concentrations above 90 parts per million (ppm), the strictest regulatory standards in the world. In addition, a yellow coated playground equipment had dangerously high lead levels above 4,000 ppm.

The group detected the lead-coated playground equipment in 20 public playgrounds and 12 kindergarten playgrounds located in five areas of Jakarta using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) chemicals analyzer.

“The high levels of lead detected on the paint of outdoor playground equipment are very worrisome and unacceptable. The paint will deteriorate with repeated use and exposure to sun and rain. This will cause the paint to peel and get into the dust and soil, which can be ingested by children through common hand-to-mouth behaviour,” said Yuyun Ismawati, Senior Advisor of Nexus3 Foundation.

Prepared in collaboration with IPEN, a global network of public interest NGOs for a toxics-free future, including Nexus3 Foundation report highlights the importance of urgent actions to prohibit the production, sale and use of lead paint for all purposes, especially for decoration and coatings on products that can contaminate children’s environment.

The study was undertaken to raise public awareness about the presence of lead paint in children’s playgrounds and persuade the authorities to take decisive actions, including the adoption of lead paint laws and the promotion of safety measures to reduce lead dust hazards when old lead painted play equipment are renovated, repainted, or replaced.

“Lead-containing dust and soil is the major pathway by which lead in paint contributes to children’s lead exposure, which can adversely affect their health throughout their lives. The findings of Nexus3 should trigger the accelerated passage of a strong lead paint law for all types of paint in Indonesia to protect children’s health and their future,” Jeiel Guarino, Global Lead Paint Elimination Campaigner, IPEN.

Both Nexus3 and IPEN are pushing for the enactment of a mandatory regulation banning lead in paint above the total lead concentration of 90 ppm. The protective limit 90 ppm is recommended in the Model Law and Guidance for Regulating Lead Paint, developed by the Global Alliance to Eliminate Lead Paint (GAELP) and published by the UN Environment Programme.

The groups also recommends that the Jakarta Province government, Center for Integrated Services for the Empowerment of Women and Children (P2TP2A) of the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection, and the Ministry of Education promote the procurement and use of lead-safe paints for painting and maintenance of public playground equipment, facilities, structures, and toys offered to children. Hand-washing facilities need to be provided within the playground areas to reduce the risk of lead-paint ingestion.

Additionally, the group also call the Ministry of Environment & Forestry, the Ministry of Health, and the Ministry of Industry to regulate paint production and distribution, as well as set a health protective standard for lead content below 90 ppm.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Lead exposure affects human health, especially for children. There is no known level of lead exposure without harmful effects. Even low levels of lead exposure may cause lifelong health problems.”

“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 behavioural problems. These health impacts also have significant economic costs to countries,” the WHO said.

As stated by Dr. Maria Neira, Director of the WHO's Department of Public Health, Environmental and Social Determinants of Health, “Lead paint represents one of the most widespread sources of lead exposure to infants and children. Yet lead paint still lurks in homes, in schools and on toys. Banning lead paint now can prevent future exposures. This is a very good investment in your health, and in the health of your children.”

The WHO has warned that “childhood lead exposure is estimated to contribute to about 600,000 new cases of children with intellectual disabilities every year.”

-End- Note: Nexus3 Foundation (formerly known as BaliFokus Foundation) is working to safeguard the public, especially the vulnerable population, from health and the environmental impact of development, towards a just, toxic-free, and sustainable future. |

IPEN is a global network of over 500 public interest groups in 121 countries working to reduce and eliminate the harm to human health and the environment from toxic chemicals.

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