Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Controversial MMDA art or is it giving advertising space for free to a favored supplier?

While the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) is big on pulling down billboards based on Memorandum Circular 11 and battling out door advertiser groups, it is not completely impervious to favoring one advertiser over the other and in fact has given at least one paint company permission to put up advertisement on public space for free.

The MMDA apparently struck a deal with Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines wherein it would be given permission to paint public spaces with its KNOxOUT paint brand.  The claims made for the paint is that it eliminates harmful carbon monoxide from the air through a catalytic reaction with the titanium dioxide contained in the paint.

Here's a statement from the Boysen KNOxOUT Facebook Page:
In effect, the Boysen KNOxOUT Project: EDSA will perform two duties that the city is clamoring for – an unprecedented public art project that will help transform EDSA as a showcase for art, and a huge functional piece that aids in neutralizing the air pollution in Metro Manila’s main artery.
The heavily advertised KNOxOUT paint claims it has embarked on this agreement with the MMDA as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility mission.

Boysen Knoxout Painting by Artist Snellman is now under fire.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the paintings have been heavily publicized and therefore is recognizable as a project of Pacific Paint (Boysen) Philippines and is essentially getting free advertising space from the government.

Never mind that Pacific Pain (Boysen) Philippines shouldered the cost of paint, just mind the fact that outdoor advertisers would probably charge the company millions of pesos a month for the same size of advertising space.

Never mind that the art installed used KNOxOUT paint has been described as depressing and a possible hazard to motorists.

I saw a small painted sign on a mural that said it is a project of Boysen Paints, so it is a good guess that the paint was donated by Boysen. And it would seem that Boysen has an excess supply of brown paint. Boysen is a good quality paint; I use it myself for my house. But why a monotonous brown on the underpasses? If you mix together all the colors of paints (red, green, blue, yellow, violet, orange, etc.) you come out with brown. So this is probably the reason—to use all the excess paints. 
What the underpasses need is light, plenty of it. (So do the pedestrian overpasses.) The underpasses and overpasses are so dark that a pedestrian can be held up or raped there without anyone witnessing the crime. Lights have been installed in the underpasses but they are not enough. The underpasses are still so dark that entering one of them is like entering a cave or a tomb.
Nevermind, also that there are indications that ulra-fine titanium dioxide particulates is a cause of concern for being a health risk.

Boysen KNOxOUT contains CristalActiv photocatalytic technology, which is ultrafine titanium dioxide,
In an article titled "Titanium Dioxide: Toxic or Safe?" by Lori Stryker, B.Sc., B.H.Ec., B.Ed., some indications about the possible carcinogenic properties of titanium dioxide were explained:
The NIOSH declaration of carcinogenicity in rats is based on a study by Lee, Trochimowicz & Reinhardt, "Pulmonary Response of Rats Exposed to Titanium Dioxide by Inhalation for Two Years" (1985). The authors of this study found that rats chronically exposed to excessive dust loading of 250 mg/m cubed and impaired clearance mechanisms within the rat, for six hours per day, five days per week for two years, developed slight lung tumours.
Studies with subjects who applied sunscreens with micronized titanium dioxide daily for 2-4 weeks showed that the skin can absorb microfine particles. ..., but consumers should avoid using products with micronized mineral pigments, either in sunscreens or colour cosmetics.
Nevermind all of that, IT'S FREE ANYWAY. Right?

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