The EcoWaste Coalition, a non-profit environmental health organization, has called upon a Korean concept store chain to take an unregistered toy, which is banned in Europe and in the Philippines, too, off the shelves.
Through a letter sent last week, the group urged Ximiso Corp. to immediately halt the sale of China-made “Shrilling Chicken,” a squeezable plastic toy in the shape of a chicken that makes a screaming sound when pressed. This toy sells for P95 per piece and comes in at least six variants.
“As an organization promoting the health and safety of Filipino children, we write to notify your company regarding the illegal sale in your store chain of ‘Shrilling Chicken’ that may contain hazardous substances,” wrote Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.
Dizon cited three reasons why the company has to stop selling “Shrilling Chicken.” Firstly, because of the likely presence of hazardous chemicals on its plastic material that can pose serious health and environmental risks. Secondly, the toy lacks the required market authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And thirdly, the toy is inadequately labeled.
The group noted that the product label provided no license to operate (LTO) number, cautionary statement/ warning, usage instruction, item/ model/ stock keeping unit (SKU) number, and manufacturer’s marking, including the complete name and address of the manufacturer or distributor.
Dizon pointed to the possible presence of DBP, DEHP and DINP phthalates on the toy’s plastic material, as well as short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs), which are toxic plasticizers not allowed in toys and other children’s products.
“We further urge your company to ensure the environmentally-sound disposal of your remaining stocks of ‘Shrilling Chicken.’ We also suggest that you take back such toys already sold and to offer your customers full refund or suitable product replacement,” Dizon further said.
The group informed Ximiso Corp. that the FDA issued Advisory No. 2017-209 on 19 July 2017 advising the general public against the purchase of “Shrilling Chicken” and seven other toy products for lacking the required Toy and Childcare Article (TCCA) notifications. These toys have not undergone FDA’s verification procedures, so “the agency cannot guarantee their quality and safety.”
The FDA warned: “The use of such violative products may pose potential health hazards to the consuming public. Potential hazards may come from materials that are not allowed to be part of a TCCA product or from the contamination of heavy metals.”
Prior to the FDA advisory, countries in Europe have either banned or ordered the withdrawal from the market of “Shrilling Chicken.” Slovakia banned “Shrilling Chicken” in 2008, Sweden in 2013, Czech Republic in 2014, Spain in 2016 and Luxembourg in 2017, the EcoWaste Coalition said citing information from the European Union’s rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products.
Slovakia, Czech Republic, Spain and Luxembourg took action after finding prohibited phthalates in toys such as DEHP and DINP on the plastic material of the chicken. DEHP, in particular, “may harm the health of children, causing possible damage to the reproductive system.”
Sweden banned “Shrilling Chicken” as “the product poses an environmental risk (chemical pollution) because the plastic in the chicken contains up to 10% short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs),” a class of persistent organic pollutant.
In 2010 and 2012, laboratory tests commissioned by the EcoWaste Coalition found samples of Shrilling Chicken laden with high concentrations of banned DBP and DEHP phthalates way above the maximum limit of 0.1 percent by weight.
Reference re government-issued advisories vs. "Shrilling Chicken":
Czech Republic, 2014