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DOH: Be cautious against toxic school supplies

By: - Reporter / @CMarquezINQ
/ 02:55 PM June 06, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) has advised the public, especially parents and guardians, to be mindful in buying school supplies for their children because some of them could be tainted with toxic materials.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said Thursday that consumers must “carefully” read school supply labels to ensure safety of their children.

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“We appeal to parents be cautious when buying school supplies for their children; read carefully the labels to know if it is appropriate for your children and registered with our [Food and Drug Administration] for safety, and immediately consult a doctor in cases of accidental ingestion or any adverse health effects while using school supplies,” Duque said in a statement.

DOH said children tend to put objects into their mouths, thus, making them vulnerable to hazardous substances.

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The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) cited some products like “12-in-1 pencil, Fairyland 16 crayons and Leehoe Glitter Fabric Paint Pens” as containing levels of poisonous metals such as lead, cadmium, and mercury that are way beyond market standards, DOH noted.

According to the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), children who are exposed to lead can suffer from “neurological damage, delayed mental and physical development, attention and learning deficiencies, impairment of cognitive functions of the brain and hearing problems.”

CPSC also said long-term exposure to inhalation of cadmium could result in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and chronic kidney diseases.

The World Health Organization (WHO), meanwhile, listed mercury as one of the top 10 chemicals of major public health concern. It said exposure to mercury could threaten the health of pregnant women and their babies. (Editor: Katherine G. Adraneda)

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