Thursday, May 19, 2011

DepEd urged to inspect donated toys

A group has called on the Department of Education (DepEd) to conduct thorough toxin tests on toys donated for kindergarten pupils, in response to an earlier appeal that student in public schools should be given such playthings.

EcoWaste Coalition, with its PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats) project, urged the DepEd to check on health-threatening chemicals found in toys as children are more at risk to such toxic exposure.

“DepEd should take all precautionary measures to shield and save children from unsafe toys… We should not let our guards down knowing that children are most prone to chemical and other hazards,” the group's coordinator Thony Dizon said in a statement.

Dizon explained that children are more sensitive to toxic exposure due to their frequent hand-to-mouth and object-to-mouth activities.

Children have yet to fully develop their immunity system and other vital systems, he added.

Dizon suggested the DepEd to “come out with health-based criteria on what toys can be donated and received.”

EcoWaste Coalition, which has been critical on removing hazardous chemicals found in toys, recently came out with a study saying 6 out of 7 plastic toys bought in prominent marketplace Divisoria are toxic.

Based on its December 2010 study, the group said these toys have toxic plastic additives called phthalates.

EcoWaste Coalition has also sent painted wooden toys to the US for testing and later found that some of the samples have high levels of lead.


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