06 September 2013

China-Made 'Shrilling Chicken" Toy: Sold in the Philippines, Banned in Sweden (Watchdog Warns vs. "Shrilling Chicken" Toy Laced with Toxic Chemicals)


"Shrilling Chicken" bought from Divisoria, Philippines (top) and the one recalled in Sweden (below).

The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog, has put out a warning against a chicken squeeze toy sold locally that was recently recalled in Sweden for containing a persistent organic pollutant (POP).

Sweden recently withdrew from the market a China-imported toy called “Shrilling Chicken,” which is made of yellow and red plastic that creates a piercing cry or screaming sound when squeezed.

“The product poses an environmental risk (chemical pollution) because the plastic in the chicken contains up to 10% short chain chlorinated paraffins (SCCPs) and does not comply with the European Commission Regulation 519/2012 on POPs,” according to RAPEX, the European Union’s rapid alert system on certain products posing a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers.
SCCPs are toxic industrial chemicals used as component for lubricants and coolants in metalworking applications and as plasticizer and flame retardant additive in plastics, rubber formulations, adhesives and sealants, and in paints and other coatings. 

"The 'Shrilling Chicken' has been on sale in the local market for years.  Many consumers may have bought the cute squeaky toy to give to young children during past Christmases," said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition's Project Protect. 

Independent laboratory analysis contracted by the EcoWaste Coalition in 2010 and 2012 showed samples of " Shrilling Chicken" laden with up to 1
3.22% dibutyl phthalate (DBP), way above the allowable limit of 0.1 percent by weight set under the Department of Health Administrative Order 2009-0005.

Phthalates are hormone-disrupting chemicals blamed for genital distortions such as malformed penises and undescended testicles, for developmental abnormalities such as cleft palate, for the early onset of puberty and other health issues. 

"We had not idea that this toy was contaminated with POPs that are far worse than phthalates," Dizon said.

SCCPs are being proposed for listing under the Stockholm Convention on POPs, a global treaty crafted to get rid of some of the world's most poisonous chemicals that the Philippine Senate ratified in 2004. 

POPs, according to a primer published by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, are chemical substances that persist in the environment, bio-accumulate through the food web, and pose a risk of causing adverse effects to human health and the environment.


The International Agency for Research on Cancer has categorized SCCPs as possibly carcinogenic to humans.

As a precaution against potential exposure to both DBP and SCCPs, the EcoWaste Coalition proposes that:

1. Vendors should stop selling their remaining stocks of “Shrilling Chicken” and return whatever is left to the manufacturer in China for proper disposal.

2. Parents should remove “Shrilling Chicken” from among the toys that kids play with, store out of reach of children or discard appropriately as hazardous waste.

3. Government toy regulators should immediately ban “Shrilling Chicken” and cause their removal from the market.

“As a general precaution against toxic exposure, we advise parents to desist from buying polyvinyl chloride (PVC) toys and to insist on knowing the chemical inputs of a product before deciding to purchase it,” Dizon stated.

The EcoWaste Coalition, which is committed to promoting zero waste and chemical safety, is a member of both the International POPs Elimination Network (IPEN) and the Safe Toys Coalition.

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