Since 2008, Pure Earth has been identifying and tackling toxic pollutants in the Philippines through assessments of contaminated sites, pilot remediations, multi-stakeholder coordination, education, and industrial process reviews. To date, over 150 toxic sites have been assessed, and more than 25% were lead-contaminated. In addition to these assessments, Pure Earth has worked on-the-ground in priority areas, such as areas where Used Lead Acid Battery (ULAB) recycling is prevalent — developing plans and implementing cleanup projects.
The IHME data recently released in Pure Earth’s The Toxic Truth Report (co-authored with UNICEF) estimates 20 million children in the Philippines (50%) have blood lead levels above the 5 ug/dL, ranking the country in the world’s top 20 of number of children lead poisoned.
Furthermore, in 2011, lead exposure incurred a cost of $15,019,373,494 to GDP which was 6.4% of total GDP ($234.217 billion) and 3.7 times tourism’s contribution to GDP ($4.043 billion).
The Philippine’s lead problem has been grossly under-estimated and under-recognized and requires targeted study so that effective interventions based on source and severity are developed, financed and implemented.
This wide-scale lead exposure, especially among children and child-bearing women, needs to be better understood. Pure Earth plans to analyze and aggregate existing data and also invest in filling the data gaps to systematically characterize lead’s health risks to children throughout the most impacted regions in the country and identify the sources in order to develop a national action plan.
20 million children in the Philippines have elevated blood lead levels.
Projects in Progress
- Comprehensive Assessment—Iloilo City and Tagbilaran City
- Health and Pollution Action Plan
- Lead Smelter Cleanup in Pampanga
- Cebu City Assessment—Sitio Tinga Lead Smelting Village
- Reducing Risks From Lead Contamination
- Marilao Used Lead-Acid Battery Recycling
- Urban Revitalization Through Mitigating Toxic Wastes
- TSIP Trainings: TSIP Training Los Baños
- Plogging in the Philippines: HSBC and Pure Earth Raise Awareness About Pollution (August 2019)
- HSBC Volunteers Take Action Against River Pollution in the Philippines (Oct 2018)
- Keeping Two-Year-Old Dexter and His Friends Safe From Lead Poisoning in Pampanga (Aug 2018)
- Mapping Pollution in the Philippines (Aug 2018)
- Notes from the Field: A Week in the Life of a Pure Earth Staffer in the Philippines (May 2017)