EcoWaste seeks recall of kiddie sunglasses tainted with lead
MANILA, Philippines — An environment and consumer safety watch group sought the recall of an imported brand of kiddie sunglasses from the local market after it was found to contain high levels of toxic lead.
EcoWaste Coalition focused on testing for lead on children’s sunglasses after the US pulled out recently from its stores over 200,000 of the products, which were imported from China.
Out of 15 samples, with prices ranging from P23 to P200, that EcoWaste bought from department stores and bargain stalls around Metro Manila, one was found to have extremely high levels of lead at 25,200 parts per million.
EcoWaste’s Project Protect coordinator Thony Dizon said, “We find it important to screen kiddie sunglasses, even if in limited number, to ensure that our young consumers are duly warned and protected against potential lead exposure and that the recalled products do not reach our ports and store shelves.”
Dizon said that his group would notify and ask the local distributor of the lead-tainted kiddie sunglasses to voluntarily recall the product from the market.
EcoWaste did not disclose the imported brand of children’s sunglasses but described the product, which tested positive for high levels of lead, as a pair of sunglasses with a red-coated metal frame specifically sold for kids according to its label.
Under the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, “children’s products that are designed or intended primarily for use by children 12 years of age or younger cannot contain greater than 100 ppm (0.01 percent) of total lead content in any accessible component part of the children’s product.”
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources also issued in 2013, the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds which has strictly prohibited the use of lead in the manufacture of toys.
Likewise, EcoWaste raised the alarm over the recalled kiddie sunglasses from the US market that might find their way to our stores.
The group cited the September 4 announcement of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission recalling from their stores some 215,000 pairs of children’s sunglasses imported from China by FGX International Inc, the surface paint of which contained excessive levels of lead.
According to the recall order, the products, which include “20 styles of Disney, Marvel and Sears/Kmart brand children’s sunglasses” of different colors and have printed images of characters on the frames, were sold in US retail stores from December 2013 to March 2014.
According to EcoWaste, lead is a cumulative toxicant that affects the brain and the central nervous system and is hazardous for young children who are prone to hand-to-mouth habits resulting in the toxic metal’s ingestion.
The World Health Organization attributes to childhood lead exposure 600,000 new cases of kids developing intellectual disabilities annually. It has warned that there is no known level of lead exposure that is considered safe.
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