Beware of aerosol paints containing undisclosed concentrations of lead, a hazardous chemical banned in paint manufacturing.

Giving your household items a new coat of paint for the New Year? Be forewarned: the aerosol paint you’re using could have a high amount of toxic lead in it.

A Philippines toxics watchdog group has announced that it has found numerous spray paints in the market that are contaminated with high concentrations of lead, a forbidden chemical in the manufacture of paints.

In a statement, the EcoWaste Coalition revealed that it has discovered 31 spray paint products from 12 brands to contain lead above the Philippines legal limit of 90 parts per million (ppm). The paints – mostly imported from China and Thailand – are being sold to uninformed consumers in stores and by online retailers in brazen violation of the country’s lead paint regulation.

Lead has been banned in the manufacture of not only paints, but also similar surface coatings to protect human health and the environment. Yet the group’s test has time and again found it to be present in paints sold.

Some of the newly discovered spray paints in the Philippines with violative levels of toxic lead.

In Ecowaste Coalition’s latest tests, 24 of the 31 implicated paints contained high lead concentrations above 10,000 ppm. Topping the list of products with the highest lead content were Sanvo Aerosol Paint (yellow) with 118,000 ppm and Top Tibay Spray Paint (canary yellow) with 111,000 ppm.

Among the spray paint brands with lead content above 90 ppm were Chappie (orange red), Greenfield (gold), JM (grass green, leaf green), Koby (deep red, Mars red, orange red, Suzuki red), Korona (grass green), Nikko (apple green, grass green, green, orange, medium yellow, yellow), Parlux (canary yellow), Sanvo (orange, yellow), Tiger (grass green, bright red, lemon yellow), Top Tibay (fresh green, canary yellow, medium yellow), Yestar (art yellow), and Bad Axe (sky blue, jade green, canary yellow, deep yellow Gongcheng orange yellow, orange yellow).

None of these paints provided lead content information and warning. In fact, the 4 lead-containing Korona and Tiger spray paints even carried the “No Pb” pictogram (Pb is the chemical symbol for lead from the Latin plumbum) despite having lead in the range of 171 to 67,800 ppm.

The call is being reiterated: Ban lead paint.

“The availability of lead-based paints in the market despite the ban is deeply concerning as such products are a major source of lead exposure among children,” said Jeiel Guarino, International Lead Paint Campaigner, International Pollutants Elimination Network (IPEN).

“Lead is considered a non-threshold toxicant – there is no known threshold for lead exposure that is deemed safe. Exposure to this potent neurotoxin can harm a child’s developing brain and nervous system, which can result in learning difficulties, reduced intelligence, low performance in school and behavioral problems.”

CAP advises consumers to be on the alert and steer clear of the above hazardous paints.