Sunday, June 26, 2011

Painkillers can kill children, warns EcoWaste

Painkillers can kill even children.

This warning was issued yesterday by toxic watchdog EcoWaste Coalition as they called on the public, particularly parents and teachers, to take precautionary measures to prevent poisoning among children.

Citing data from the 2010 annual report of the University of the Philippines National Poison Management and Control Center (UPNPMCC), the EcoWaste Coalition said paracetamol, also known as painkillers, was among the leading causes of poisoning among children.

Aside from paracetamol, the other top 10 poison agents in terms of in-patient referrals for pediatric age group were kerosene, caustics (example: chlorine bleach), silver jewelry cleaners, pesticides (examples: insecticide lotion and spray and rat poison), ferrous sulfate, elemental mercury (example: the silvery liquid in some thermometers), paint thinner, button cell batteries and benzodiazepines (psychoactive drugs).

“The myriad of poisoning cases involving children due to the consumption or exposure to harmful products and substances should stir parents, as well as school administrators and teachers, into employing precautionary steps to stop such incidents,” EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect coordinator Thony Dizon said.

According to Dizon, many poisoning cases that have occurred in the past could have been prevented if only these common sense tips had been applied.

As the nation marks the National Poison Prevention Week (NPPW) this week, EcoWaste Coalition and other toxic watchdogs gathered yesterday to remind the public on the risks of toxic chemicals inside their homes.

The group said parents, teachers and workplace managers can help reduce incidence of chemical poisoning by proper purchase, handling, use and storage of products containing harmful substances.
The public was advised to be health and safety-conscious consumers by reading the labels, demanding chemical information and selecting non-toxic products.

The public was likewise reminded to keep a record of hazardous and potentially hazardous products, as well as wastes, in homes, schools or workplaces such as cosmetics and toiletries, cleaning agents, automotive supplies, herbicides, pesticides and other products with added toxic chemicals.

Chemicals must be labeled and stored properly in a dry, locked or tamper-proof cabinet, the group said.


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