DepEd warns against toxic school items
The Department of Education has warned parents to be careful with the kind of school supplies they purchase for their children following the release of a report showing that some items being sold in bargain shops were found to contain toxic chemicals.
Education Secretary Armin Luistro also urged merchandisers and manufacturers to help protect children from toxic toys by screening their own supplies.
The EcoWaste Coalition toxics watchdog had written to Luistro concerning the testing it had conducted on school supplies and sought the DepEd’s support in its campaign against children being exposed to toxic chemicals found in everyday items.
Luistro said parents should always look for quality standard markings to ensure that the products they buy have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration and the Department of Trade and Industry.
“The safety of our students is our primary concern. We fully support EcoWaste Coalition in their advocacy to ensure that school supplies are safe from harmful chemicals and we join their call to manufacturers, importers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers to produce only toxic-free products for our children,” he said.
EcoWaste urged Luistro to “use your persuasive power” to influence those in the school supplies business to sell only nontoxic goods.
“Chemicals like lead that can jeopardize the health and future of our children should not be present at all in products that are designed and produced for their consumption,” it said.
The Ecowaste study had found that 15 of 25 samples of school supplies from Divisoria had elevated levels of lead, a very dangerous chemical harmful to children’s mental development if inhaled or ingested. The items also did not carry labels that are supposed to carry information on their chemical content. Tarra Quismundo