Sunday, May 29, 2011

FDA to monitor toys more closely for high lead content

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the Department of Health (DOH) assured the public on Thursday that it is monitoring toys in the market to make sure these do not contain hazardous materials and substances.

The FDA issued the assurance after environmental and health advocacy group EcoWaste Coalition reported on Tuesday that six out of 11 painted toys they had tested had high levels of lead.

The group then urged DOH to strengthen the enforcement of Administrative Order (AO) 2007-0032, which regulates the issuance of 'License to Operate' to companies that manufacture, import and distribute toys.

In its statement, FDA Acting Director Dr. Suzette Lazo said the FDA regularly conducts compliance monitoring of establishments. She also said the FDA does market surveillance of toy products, purchasing toys from stores and testing the toys for hazardous substances.

The FDA said the toys will be tested for the following requirements:

# Safety aspects related to mechanical and physical properties;
# Flammability; and
# Migration of certain elements

Non-compliant toys are subject to recall and are disposed of, it said.

Lazo added that samples collected and tested in December 2010 passed the safety standards.

The statement also said the FDA will ensure that all manufacturers comply with the labeling and packaging requirements of the said AO. Cautionary statements and warnings should also be written in English or Filipino, the statement said.

It also said the minimum age for intended use should be written in visible, legible and indelible form.

The FDA advised parents to check the following when buying toys for their children:

# Check labels on the packaging and observe precautions appearing in the labels;

# Ensure that the child's toys are suited for his or her age and are used under adult supervision;

# Dispose plastic packaing accordingly; and

# For children under three years old, avoid toys that are small, have sharp edges, easily break and have electrical parts.


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