Watchdog warns of toxic toys in Manila’s markets
Rhodina Villanueva (The Philippine Star) - September 29, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Nearly half of 200 toys bought from several markets in Manila were found to have high levels of lead and other heavy metals, environmental group EcoWaste Coalition said recently.

Ninety-four out of the 200 toys “we analyzed had at least one hazardous substance like lead, which could put the health of young children in danger,” Thony Dizon, coordinator of the EcoWaste’s Project Protect, said.

Among the hazardous substances found in the samples were chemicals considered by the World Health Organization (WHO) as among the “10 chemicals of major public health concern” such as arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury.

The chemicals on WHO’s record are also named in the Philippine Priority Chemicals List of 48 chemicals that could “pose unreasonable risks to public health, workplace and the environment,” according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Sampling

Members of the group bought assorted toys, which ranged in price from P10 to P180, from over 20 toy retailers and wholesalers in Divisoria, Ermita, Paco, Malate, Quiapo and Sta. Cruz.

The toys were purchased from Sept. 18 to 21 and screened for heavy metals using a portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer.

Dizon said 47 percent or 94 of the 200 toys had at least one toxic metal. Of the 94 toxic toys, 76 had levels of lead above the 90 parts per million limit for lead in paints and surface coatings.

Of the 94 toys, none had labels to warn consumers of the presence of toxic chemical ingredients.

Lead – a potent neurotoxin that can be ingested, inhaled or absorbed by the skin – can cause mental retardation, learning difficulties, lower intelligence quotient scores, growth delays and behavioral problems, as well as anemia, hearing loss and kidney injury, Dizon said.

EcoWaste reminded consumers to carefully examine the product label, which should contain the product name, the name and contact details of the manufacturer or distributor, the number issued by the government, period for intended use and cautionary warnings in English or Filipino.

“Steer clear of toys made of polyvinyl chloride plastic or PVC, which contains a load of toxic additives, toys with a strong chemical or perfume smell, and painted toys unless certified lead-safe,” Dizon said.

CRUZ DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES DIZON LEAD PHILIPPINE PRIORITY CHEMICALS LIST PROJECT PROTECT QUIAPO AND STA THONY DIZON TOYS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
  • Latest
  • Trending
Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?
X
Login

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

SIGN IN
or sign in with