Climate and Environment

Watchdog warns Filipinos from buying 'chicken toy' due to toxic chemicals

James Relativo - Philstar.com
Watchdog warns Filipinos from buying 'chicken toy' due to toxic chemicals
Photo of a "shrilling chicken" plastic toy
Released/EcoWaste Coalition

MANILA, Philippines — The EcoWaste Coalition has advised Filipino consumers to refrain from buying an unauthorized squeaky toy marketed for kids and pets alike due to the presence of an "endocrine disrupting chemical."

The "shrilling chicken" plastic toy is reportedly being sold in both physical and online stores as a squeaky toy and is said to be manufactured from China.

The warning came shortly after the publication of a notification from the Government of Cyprus on Friday, announcing the withdrawal of the toy from the market for posing a chemical risk.

"As described in the said notification, the plastic material of the yellow-colored squeaky toy in the shape of a chicken contains an excessive concentration of bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP for short, amounting to 23.62% by weight, which is way beyond the 0.1% limit," according to the coalition on Saturday.



According to the notification, phthalates may harm the health of children, causing possible damage to the reproductive system."

The EcoWaste Coalition has been warning consumers against soft toys made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, a material which could contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like phthalates. These are said to be added to PVCs to make them soft and pliable.

DEHP is said to interfere with hormone functions and is also classifised as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have earlier advised the public against the purchase and use of Shrilling Chicken through its Advisory No. 2020-042, further warning all establishments not to distribute  adulterated toys and child care article products.

"Aside from Cyprus and the Philippines, several governmental authorities have also banned Shrilling Chicken from being sold in the market for containing phthalates and other chemicals of concern: Luxembourg (2017), Spain (2016), Czech Republic (2014), Sweden (2013), and Slovakia (2008)," the EcoWaste Coalition said.  

"Sweden, in particular, found Shrilling Chicken contaminated with up to 10% of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCPPs), a class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed in the Stockholm Convention."

To minimize children's exposure to phthalates in plastic toys, the EcoWaste Coalition has recommended the following steps:

  • for national and local government health regulators to jointly enforce FDA Advisory 2020-042 banning Shrilling Chicken toys adulterated with phthalates
  • for physical and online sellers to stop selling unauthorized Shrilling Chicken toys and to return non-compliant items to their source for proper disposal
  • for parents not to allow their children to play with Shrilling Chicken unless the toy has been certified non-toxic and safe for kids to play with

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