from using certain feeding bottles that may expose vulnerable babies to lead, a
Public interest advocacy groups Arugaan and the EcoWaste Coalition jointly
issued the warning after finding lead on the painted designs of some cheap baby
bottles that are being sold by discount stores in Divisoria for P15 to P25
Nine “made in China” feeding bottles marked “Baby Plastic Bottle &
Nipple”were found to contain lead from 536 parts per million (ppm) to 1,023
ppm, as well as traces of arsenic and chromium above levels of concern.
The harmful chemicals were detected using a handheld X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF)
spectrometer, a device that can quantify toxic metals in consumer products and
The groups made the warning in time for the yearly celebration of the World
Breastfeeding Week on August 1 to 7 that is being coordinated by the World
Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and participated in by supporters from over
170 countries, including the Philippines.
“Mothers should be wary of feeding bottles laced with lead, bisphenol A,
phthalates and other dangerous substances that can permanently harm a baby’s
tender brain and body,” said Velvet Escario-Roxas of Arugaan and Breastfeeding
“Babies have the birthright to breastmilk, the ideal nutrition for infants and
young children and the first complete and zero waste food, as well as the right
to safe childcare articles,” she emphasized.
Roxas added that working moms can breastfeed, too.
“They can handexpress their milk in the office. They have the right to
40-minute paid lactation breaks according to R.A. 10028, the Expanded
Breastfeeding Promotion Act. The caregivers can cupfeed their breastmilk while
mom is away,”she said.
“Adults, especially parents, must ensure that babies are protected from
exposures to chemical hazards in products as well as those in the
environment,”added Aileen Lucero, Acting National Coordinator of the EcoWaste
Quoting from the World Health Organization’s publication “Children Are Not
Little Adults,” Lucero reiterated that “it is the responsibility of today’s
adults to identify hazards and conditions that impair children’s ability to
grow and mature safely and in good health.”
Lead exposure interferes with the normal development of a child’s
brain and nervous system, while arsenic and chromium (particularly hexavalent
chromium) are known to be carcinogenic to humans, the groups warned.
The World Breastfeeding Week was
first observed in 1992 to commemorate the Innocenti Declaration, a historic
document adopted at the
WHO/UNICEF policymakers’ meeting on “Breastfeeding in the 1990s: A Global
Initiative” held at the Spedale degli Innocenti, Florence, Italy.
According to the Innocenti Declaration, “breastfeeding is a unique
process that provides ideal nutrition for infants and contributes to their
healthy growth and development; reduces incidence and severity of infectious
diseases, thereby lowering infant morbidity and mortality; contributes to
women’s health by reducing the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, and by
increasing the spacing between pregnancies; provides social and economic
benefits to the family and the nation.”