Better policing of lead risks needed: advocates

CHILDREN MOST VULNERABLE: A survey found that the levels of lead in paint on equipment at some playgrounds were substantially higher than the national standard

Taipei Times
Date: Jan 05, 2021
By: Sherry Hsiao / Staff reporter

From left, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Emergency Department director of pediatrics Lee Jung, New Power Party Legislator Claire Wang, researcher Chao Jui-kuang and Taiwan Zero Waste Alliance founder Sun Wei-tzu hold a news conference in Taipei yesterday.
Photo: CNA

After a survey found excessive levels of lead in playground equipment, advocates yesterday called for increased government regulation, as well as public awareness, of potential lead exposure from painted surfaces.

While public discussion about the dangers of heavy metals has often been focused on food safety, attention has seldom been drawn to the risks of heavy metals in playground equipment, New Power Party Legislator Claire Wang (王婉諭) told a news conference in Taipei.

Taiwan Zero Waste Alliance founder Sun Wei-tzu (孫瑋孜) said that a survey he conducted with researchers at Tainan Community University found that the levels of lead in the paint on playground equipment in some parks and schools in Taipei and New Taipei City were significantly higher than the maximum 90 parts per million stipulated in the National Standards of the Republic of China.

Chao Jui-kuang (晁瑞光), a researcher who is part of the university’s environmental action team, said that in Tainan, the survey found that while newer playground facilities generally met national standards, the paint on other equipment that might not be designed for children to play with, but was installed near play areas, such as street lamps, contained high levels of heavy metals that exceeded permissible limits.

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