15 June 2014

Are Kids' Plastic Dolls Safe from Harmful Chemicals? (Government Urged to Embark on Testing Blitz of Plastic Dolls as EU Recalled 165 Products)




The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog, pondered on the safety of plastic dolls sold locally after discovering illegal level of synthetic chemicals known as phthalates in a locally-manufactured doll it procured from Divisoria, Manila.

Phthalates refer to a group of industrial chemicals that are often used as plasticizers, or softening agents, in vinyl plastic products, including toys.

Known to interfere with normal endocrine or hormone functions, infants and children can be exposed to phthalates through the mouthing of plastic toys.

“We could not help but ask if plastic dolls, especially those sold in discount stores, are safe from phthalates for our girls to play with,” queried Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.

“Countries in Europe have taken strong measures to prohibit the entry or sale of dolls laden with toxic phthalates.  From 2013 to date, 18 European countries banned 165 phthalate- softened dolls, and surprisingly not a single one has been banned in the Philippines,” he observed.

“This prompted us to buy and send one sample to the laboratory for analysis. We would have wanted to test more products, but the cost of analysis is too prohibitive at over P7,500 per sample,” he explained.

According to the laboratory analysis conducted by the SGS, a global testing company, the head of the baby doll on the “Little Ones Nap Time Doll Crib Set” had 16.70% of phthalate DEHP, way above the 0.1% limit.

As per product label, the doll crib set is made by New Anding’s Trading and Manufacturing (stock number 4023).  It is sold for P100 per set.

Last Tuesday, Undersecretary Victorio Mario Dimagiba of the Department of Trade and Industry endorsed the complaint lodged by the EcoWaste Coalition regarding the said doll to the Food and Drugs Administration for appropriate action.

The Department of Health Administrative Order 2009-0005-A as amended in 2011 provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture for sale, offer for sale, distribute in commerce, or import into the country any children’s toys that contains concentrations  of more than 0.1 percent by weight of DEHP, DBP or BBP.”

The same A.O., signed by Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona, prohibits the sale of “any children’s toy that can be placed in a child’s mouth that contains concentrations of more than 0.1 % by weight of DINP, DIDP or DnOP.

Data gathered by the EcoWaste Coalition from the European Union’s Rapid Alert System for Non-Food Dangerous Products (RAPEX) showed that from 2013 to date Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and UK either rejected 165 doll imports at the border or withdrew them from the market for violating EU’s regulation on phthalates.

To prevent childhood exposure to phthalates, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to the industry to only offer dolls and other toys that meet the DOH regulation, and to duly label their products to assist consumers in making an informed choice.

To assure consumers of the safety of plastic dolls in the market, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the authorities to embark on a “testing blitz,” targeting affordable dolls sold in both formal and informal retail outlets.

In the meantime, the EcoWaste Coalition advised consumers, particularly parents, to utilize their purchasing power to induce the toy industry to shift to non-toxic materials by not patronizing toys made of PVC and others not duly labeled, tested and registered.

-end-

Reference:


(type “consumer” in product type, “plastic doll” in free text search,
choose “2014, 2013” in year, select “serious” under risk type and type
“chemical” in risk)

No comments: