Toxic toys being sold in Baclaran

60 days before Christmas, toys with lead, arsenic and mercury are being sold in Baclaran, Parañaque and Pasay

NOT SO INNOCENT. These toxic toys bought in Manila are in good company now that a green group discovered more of their ilk in Baclaran, Parañaque and Pasay. Photo by Pia Ranada/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Christmas shoppers beware. Toys sold in Baclaran were proven to contain lead and other toxic chemicals which may pose serious health risks to children.

Green group EcoWaste Coalition revealed that 50 out of 100 toys they purchased in Baclaran tested positive for toxics like antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead and mercury.

Lead, a powerful neurotoxin, was found in 46 samples in amounts above the US regulatory limit of 90 parts per million (ppm).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “lead exposure harms children at much lower doses, and the health effects are generally irreversible and can have a lifelong impact.”

Lead exposure through ingestion, inhalation or dermal contact can lead to mental retardation, growth delays, anemia, hearing loss and kidney injury, according to toxicologist Bessie Antonio.

The 10 toy samples that showed the highest levels of lead are:

1.  An unlabeled yellow painted metal chair with back rest (43,100 ppm)
2.  An unlabeled cow coin bank (8,761 ppm)
3.  An unlabeled rug doll with yellow PVC plastic dress (7,014 ppm)
4.  A “Fashion Doll” wearing green PVC plastic dress (5,027 ppm)
5.  A “Ji Hua” green cord jumping rope (4,279 ppm)
6.  An unlabeled rug doll with orange PVC plastic dress (4,082 ppm)
7.  A unlabeled pig coin bank (2,740 ppm)
8.  A “Cars”-labeled green mini-car (2,344 ppm)
9.  A “Ben 10” toy watch (1,962 ppm)
10.  A “Kidz Corner Pocket Billiard” set (1,421 ppm)

The toys were bought on October 18 and 19 from Baclaran discount stores in Parañaque and Pasay. The group used a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer to detect the harmful substances.

With only two months to go before Christmas, EcoWaste Coalition cautioned early Christmas shoppers to be more careful in buying gifts.

“Be inquisitive and insist on your right to product information and safety. Avoid toys that are not compliant with the mandatory testing, registration and labelling requirements,” said Thony Dizon, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

Last September, the group also detected toxic chemicals in 94 out of 200 toys sold in Divisoria, Ermita, Paco, Malate, Quiapo and Sta Cruz. –

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