Consumers warned vs buying toxic toys from China

AN environmentalist group has warned consumers against buying plastic toys that are allegedly laden with a toxic substance called phthalates.

According to Ecowaste Coalition, results of the laboratory test it commissioned revealed that six of the seven toys manufactured in China, which the group bought in Divisoria tested positive for the said toxic additive.

“The results of our investigation show that the government request to voluntarily stop the production and sale of these harmful toys has been ignored and this provides a compelling reason for stronger action by the Aquino government,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT or People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats.

“We therefore urge (President Benigno Aquino III) to introduce a robust policy, building on BFAD Advisory 99-05, that will reduce incidences of toxic exposure from phthalates, which can seriously affect children’s health,” he added.

Since 1999, the government has raised serious concerns about phthalates. Through the Bureau of Food and Drugs Advisory 99-05 issued on December 23, 1999, the government warned that “phthalates may cause adverse health effects such as liver and kidney wounds, reproductive abnormalities and immune system defects.”

The coalition bought the assorted toys last month from various stores in Divisoria, Manila’s sprawling bargain-hunters’ paradise, and had them analyzed for phthalates by Intertek Thailand through Intertek Testing Services Philippines, Inc.

The toy samples include a doll toy (the only sample that passed the test), a squeeze ball, a shrilly chirping chicken toy, a floating duck toy, a tiger toy, a “Super Mario” toy, and a squeaky “Winnie the Pooh” toy, all imported from China, with prices ranging from PHP18.00 to PHP150.00.

None of them were labeled as containing phthalates and only one (the Super Mario toy) was labeled as being made of PVC. (Images of toy samples may be viewed at

Laboratory analysis showed that six of the seven toy samples failed the 0.1% by mass limit set by the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 for children’s toys and child care articles. As of yet, the Philippines has no specific standard on phthalates.

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