EcoWaste Coalition warns against buying lead-tainted lucky charms

  • EcoWaste Coalition warns against buying lead-tainted lucky charms and amulets
  • A test conducted by the environmental watch dog found high lead level in several ornaments it tested
  • The group urged feng shui believers to opt for edible alternatives instead of ornaments that are decorated with paint

The environmental watchdog EcoWaste Coalition has warned the public against buying lucky charms and amulets tainted with toxic lead that are being sold in various retail outlets in Manila.

The group said it tested several pieces of different lucky charms it bought from stores in Quiapo and Binondo for harmful substances and found that the items contained a considerable amount of lead.

Anthony Dizon, the national coordinator of EcoWaste’s “Project Protect”, said lucky charms which are supposed to attract good fortunes should be free from toxic lead; a substance that is harmful to humans and animals alike if ingested or inhaled.

“Lucky charms that are marketed to enhance a healthy, happy and successful year should be free from toxic lead, a hazardous substance linked to brain damage and other health and behavioral problems,” Dizon said.

Alden Monzon wrote in his article for the Business World Online dated February 7, 2016 that the group used a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to detect the elemental composition of the sample lucky charms, and that the XRF device was able to detect a reading of at least 4,251 ppm (parts per million) to 68,600 ppm on the charms and ornaments.

The following were some of the lucky charms and amulets with the highest lead levels, as published in an article by GMA News Online dated February 7, 2016:

A big “Yin Yang bagua” (72,200 ppm), a small “Yin Yang bagua” (68,600 ppm),  a gain luck coin or money plate (35,500 ppm),  a painted dragon statuette (11,900 ppm),   a yellow lucky dragon amulet (9,799 ppm), a “Chinese anti-anting good luck pat-kua” (9,648 ppm), a painted dragon statuette on glass base (9,608 ppm), a small monkey figurine (7,800 ppm), a red lucky dragon amulet (5,346 ppm), small Buddha statue (5,130 ppm), a monkey ornament with the word “happiness” (4,265 ppm) and a “Wu Lo” amulet (4,251 ppm).

To be on the safe side, Dizon urged the public who believe in using lucky charms and amulets to attract good fortunes to choose the edible kinds of charms instead of lucky charms decorated with paints that contain lead.

Instead of buying painted ornaments, Dizon suggested that people should opt to buy taro for bonding relationship, “tikoy” for increased prosperity, rice for fertility and noodles for long life.

“Of course, nothing can beat fervent prayers, healthy lifestyles, good deeds and lots of hard work for a better year ahead,” Dizon said.