Warning Out on Plastic Balisong and Other Toy Weapons with Sharp Edges and Points
The EcoWaste Coalition has sounded the alarm over the sale of miniature toy weapons with sharp edges and points that could result in cuts and lacerations and even eye injuries among kids.
As part of the group’s toy safety campaign leading up to Christmas Day, the group drew attention to the unchecked sale of plastic toys imitating balisong (butterfly knife), as well as daggers, swords and other weapons inspired by popular manga and anime series such as Naruto.
“We find it very concerning to see toys with sharp edges and points sold cheaply in the vicinity of our schools as if these are perfectly safe for young children to handle and play with,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.
“Playing with plastic balisong and similar toys may result in accidental cuts, lacerations and eye injuries requiring first aid treatment and, in worst cases, a visit to an emergency ward,” she said.
“Local government, health and police authorities should stop the sale of these toys and not wait for accidents and injuries involving young children to happen,” she emphasized.
In 2016, personnel from the Manila City Government confiscated plastic balisong being sold by toy dealers for posing safety hazards, the group recalled.
The EcoWaste Coalition is particularly concerned with the sale of plastic balisong, knives and ninja weapons, including kunai (daggers), shuriken (throwing stars) and tanto (swords) with sharp edges and points.
These toys are sold by retailers near private and public elementary schools, wholesalers in Binondo, Manila, and by online toy dealers, the EcoWaste Coalition said.
Based on test buys conducted by the group on September 11, wholesalers at Divisoria Mall and New Divisoria Center, for instance, sell plastic balisongs for P150/pack of 24 knives (or P6.25 each), assorted swords for P130/pack of 24 swords (or P5.41 each) and Naruto toys for P75/pack of 25 assorted weapons (or P3 each).
Sold without the required Certificate of Product Notification issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), these toys are also not compliant to the mandatory labeling requirements under RA 10620, or the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act, including manufacturer’s or distributor’s markings, age grading, and cautionary statements or warnings.
The FDA has warned that the use of unnotified toys and childcare articles, which have not gone through the agency’s notification process, may pose health risks to consumers.
“The use of substandard and possibly adulterated toy and childcare article products may result in health risks including, but not limited to, endocrine disruption and reproductive or development effects; or may result in injury, choking or suffocation due to its small or broken parts,” the FDA warned.
The EcoWaste Coalition will continue monitoring toys being sold in the market for potential health and safety issues and will alert consumers accordingly.
v=4kn3ClUDSYA (plastic balisong confiscation in Manila, November 2016)