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Cebu News

Parents cautioned on loom band

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Ecowaste Coalition has cautioned the parents of the harmful chemicals in loom band, a rubber and colorful bracelet, which has becoming a craze among children.

 The coalition, an environmental and health watchdog campaigning for toxic-free toys, has detected significant amounts of lead in charms made of polyvinyl chloride plastic that are added onto loom band bracelets as extra ornaments.

Lead, the watchdog emphasized, is a potent neurotoxin that can damage the brain and the central nervous system and harm almost all body organs.

“Not all loom band charms are created equal. Some are loaded with hazardous substances that should not be found in children’s products. Parents should therefore exercise utmost caution and care when buying play things to safeguard their kids from unwanted chemical risks,” said Thony Dizon, coordinator, Coalition’s Project Protect.

The group’s latest action was triggered by fresh media reports from Europe about loom band charms with very high level of toxic phthalates in them.

Researchers at Birmingham Assay Office in the United Kingdom had detected high concentrations of phthalates in some counterfeit charms with some samples having as much as 50% phthalates by weight, way above the 0.1 % threshold limit.

As per Department of Health Administrative Order 2009-0005-A, phthalates DEHP, DBP and BBP are prohibited in children’s toys, while phthalates DINP, DIDP and DnOP are prohibited in toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth, in amounts exceeding the 0.1 percent limit by weight.

Classified as endocrine disrupting chemicals or EDCs, phthalates have been blamed for genital deformities such as deformed penises and undescended testicles, for developmental abnormalities such as cleft palate, for the early onset of puberty and other health problems, including cancer.

Earlier, the Coalition and the Philippine Animal Welfare Society cautioned loom band fans about the hazards posed by indigestible rubber bands to young kids and pet animals.

“The loom band fad has become a global phenomenon and many devious imitations are flooding the market. They come cheap, but with no safety guarantee. These products have not undergone obligatory registration and passed the required toy quality and safety standards,” Dizon added.

As the ‘ber’ months near, Dizon said that they fear that traders will stock up on knockoff loom bands and accessories to cash in on increased demands during Christmastime.

“The cancer-scare involving fake loom band charms that is sweeping Europe should serve as a warning against buying such cute but toxic counterfeits. Consumers should heed such warning,” Dizon warned.  (FREEMAN)

BAND

BIRMINGHAM ASSAY OFFICE

COALITION AND THE PHILIPPINE ANIMAL WELFARE SOCIETY

DIZON

ECOWASTE COALITION

LOOM

PROJECT PROTECT

THONY DIZON

UNITED KINGDOM

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