MANILA, Philippines — An environmental group urged congressmen on Sunday to craft laws against the use of toxic chemicals in children’s products as it found traces of lead and cadmium in 78 out of 100 toy jewelry recently bought in Divisoria, Manila.
Aileen Lucero, acting national coordinator of EcoWaste Coalition, said the problem of toxic chemicals in children’s products such as toys, school supplies and accessories has gone unabated to the detriment of Filipino kids.
“We ask our political leaders to rise to the challenge and consider such vital legislative measure a priority,” she said.
“Lawmakers of the 16th Congress have the opportunity to correct this chemical injustice against defenseless children by enacting a robust law that will eliminate toxic substances in products marketed to children,” Lucero said.
The EcoWaste bought 100 pieces of kiddie bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings – with prices ranging from P3 to P25 each – from retailers at 168 Shopping Mall, 999 Shopping Mall and at the bargain section of the posh Lucky Chinatown Mall in Divisoria.
Out of the 100 samples analyzed for toxic metals using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer, 78 were found to have harmful chemicals, particularly lead and cadmium, above levels of concern.
Lead, which affects the developing brain and the central nervous system, was found in 72 samples such as a painted guitar pendant, Hello Kitty earrings and metal rings featuring “The Avengers.”
Cadmium, a cancer-causing substance, was found in 24 items in the range of 204 parts per million to as high as 220,700 ppm detected on a P13 earring with a yellow star design.
Arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury are among the “ten chemicals of major public health concern,” according to the World Health Organization.