Public is warned on toxic toys.
Ecowaste Coalition recently conducted a test using X-Ray Fluorescence spectrometer on 450 toy samples bought in key cities of Metro Manila.
And the results were frightening.
217 out of 450 toy samples were found to be containing toxic materials such as lead, antimony, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and chromium.
What’s more alarming is that out of the 217 toxic toys, 176 samples have high lead content even violating the allowable US limit .
Lead is a chemical commonly found in paints that were used to coat these toxic toys.
Here is the list of toxic toys and their lead content released by EcoWaste Coalition. Remember the benchmark for a toy to be safe is 90 parts per million (ppm) for lead in paint and surface coatings.
1. An unlabeled yellow painted play chair with “Winnie the Pooh” design.
Toxic content: 43,100 ppm lead
2. A naked girl doll holding a yellow towel
Toxic content: 23,200 ppm lead, 8,909 ppm chromium, 1,441 ppm arsenic and 655 ppm cadmium.
3. A black and yellow polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic boxing gloves with “SpongeBob Squarepants” design
Toxic content: 9,356 ppm lead
4. An unlabeled rug doll with yellow PVC plastic dress
Toxic content: 7,014 ppm lead
5. A “Justice League Superman” stuffed toy
Toxic content: 6,735 ppm lead, 2,415 ppm chromium, 271 ppm arsenic and 180 ppm antimony.
6. A “Style Beauty Series” doll
Toxic content: 5,467 ppm lead, 849 ppm chromium and 177 ppm arsenic.
7. A red and green dragon
Toxic content: 5,207 ppm of lead
8. A “Pocket Bola Pikachu” toy
Toxic content: 5,165 ppm lead
9. A “Fashion Doll” wearing green PVC plastic dress
Toxic content: 5,027 ppm lead
10. A “Ji Hua” jumping rope (green cord)
Toxic content: 4,279 ppm of
So how do kids get lead exposure with these toxic toys?
According to World Health Organization (WHO) , once these toxic toys are broken or damaged, small particles are released. Our children then are exposed either thru ingestion since kids commonly have the hand to mouth behavior or inhalation of lead dust.
Although this is only low exposure, WHO stressed that ” At lower levels of exposure that cause no visible symptoms (and that previously were considered safe), lead is now known to produce a spectrum of injuries that lead to reduced cognitive abilities, shortening of attention span, alteration of behavior, dyslexia, attention deficit disorder, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. In general, these effects are permanent.”
How can we steer away from these toxic toys?
Simple. Read and check the label.
There’s no label? Then don’t buy it.
According to Republic Act No. 10620 known as Toy and Game Safety Labelling Act of 2013 signed just last September –“
All toys and games locally or internationally manufactured that are imported, donated, distributed and sold in the Philippines shall comply with the appropriate provisions on safety labeling and manufacturer’s markings found in the Philippine National Standards (PNS) for the safety of toys:”
Label as defined by this provision is –
“the display of written, printed or graphic matter on any consumer product, its immediate container, tag, literature or other suitable material affixed thereto for the purpose of giving information as to identify components, ingredients, attributes, directions for use, specifications and such other information as may be required by law or regulations.”
On a wider scale, to avoid these toxic toys, United Nations (UN) launched the first “International Lead Poisoning Prevention Week of Action” last October 20 to 26, 2013.
Together with EcoWaste Coalition again and Philippine Pediatric Society, UN appealed to the government and public to make our environment toxin-free.
Toys will never be passé in every kid’s wish list. And now that the Holiday season is crawling in, a lot of toys will surely make it to the gift wrapping section queue.
Of course as responsible moms/parent, we must make sure that none of these toxic toys must be inside those colorful gift wraps and ribbons .
Yes, labeled or quality toys can be more expensive. We might be able to save a few pesos buying the cheap toxic toys.
But chances are these savings will not compensate the medical expenses we might be spending due to illnesses brought about by these toxic toys.
In giving toys as gifts, we only don’t want to bring smiles right? Above anything else, the most precious gift we can give our kids is a happy heart, and a HEALTHY one too.