The EcoWaste Coalition commended the National Book Store (NBS), the country’s largest bookstore chain, for taking action against children’s products laced with dangerous chemicals.
In a statement, the toxic watchdog lauded the NBS for pulling out from its store shelves certain products due to what the company described as “toxicity issue.”
The EcoWaste Coalition had earlier requested the NBS through Mrs. Socorro Ramos, the legendary founder of the iconic bookstore, to cause the removal of products that tested positive with toxic metals in tests conducted by the group with US-based IPEN, a global civil society network.
Responding to the appeal aired by the EcoWaste Coalition, the NBS through a letter signed by Ms. Aura Obra, Manager of the NBS Purchasing Department for Stationery and Allied Products, confirmed that they have returned such products to suppliers, and advised other vendors to comply with the requirements of the Consumer Act of the Philippines and Food and Drug Administration Act.
“We laud the NBS for acting decisively to safeguard the health of its young customers against chemical hazards,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project PROTECT.
“This is the type of corporate action that we expect from a respected market leader,” he emphasized.
“We urge NBS to stay true to its mission of offering its customers with ‘tools that enrich their minds’ by demanding that suppliers only put up toxic-free products for sale,” he added.
“In this regard, NBS should require its suppliers to provide complete product information, including chemical ingredients, and to certify that their products do not contain lead, mercury and other chemicals of concern,” he suggested.
According to the group, the NBS is in an excellent position to influence manufacturers to shift to clean production methods by insisting compliance to national regulatory requirements and the non-use of chemicals that can endanger children’s health.
Among the products pulled out by NBS from its retail outlets nationwide were 22 wooden toys from Cebu-based Wagas Crafts.
Also recalled were two brands of water color in wooden palette from suppliers Dong Fang Hong and Jamski Marketing.
“We urge other retailers to follow the good example set by NBS that will surely help in eradicating health-damaging consumer products in the market,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.