EcoWaste Coalition Finds Kiddie Boxing Gloves Not Safe to Play With

Boxing gloves with high phthalate content.

Boxing is definitely not a child’s game, especially
when the punching gloves are packed with harmful chemicals.

Amid the
frenzy surrounding the upcoming Pacquiao-Mayweather boxing bout, the
environmental and health watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition cautioned parents
from buying kiddie boxing gloves containing chemical plasticizers banned in

boxing, a collision sport, is not recommended for children, some parents may
find themselves buying gloves for their boys to have fun with as the clash between
the two boxing giants nears,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste
Coalition’s Project Protect.

to the undeniable child safety issue, especially if played without adult
supervision, is the presence of undisclosed hazardous substances in some boxing
gloves,” he pointed out.

group, which has been tracking hazardous substances in children’s toys since
2011, warned that some kiddie boxing gloves violate the regulatory limits for
phthalates, the toxic chemical plasticizers used to soften polyvinyl chloride
(PVC) plastic. 

Phthalate exposure has been linked to genital abnormalities in boys such as
deformed penises and undescended testicles, as well as to infertility and low
sperm count later in life.

Out of
the three samples of boxing gloves bought by the EcoWaste Coalition from
Divisoria and Quiapo retailers and then analyzed by SGS, a global testing
company, two were found to violate the 0.1% limit for phthalate DEHP in toys:
1. A
“Toys Ultimate Spiderman” boxing gloves” costing P100 had 9.05% DEHP
2. A “People’s Champ” boxing gloves and punching bag costing P130 had 3.16%

The third sample, a “Speed Games New Toys” boxing gloves, worth P120 had no
detectable phthalate.

Boxing gloves with no detectable phthalate.

Health authorities in Europe, North America and even in the Philippines have
taken action to restrict phthalates in children’s toys because these chemicals
are known endocrine disruptors deemed harmful even at very low exposures.

prevent and reduce childhood exposure to these chemicals, the Department of
Health in 2011 banned phthalates BBP, DBP and DEHP in excess of 0.1% by weight
in children’s toys, while phthalates DIDP, DINP and DnOP above 0.1% are banned
in children’s toys that could be placed in the mouth.

protect children from phthalate exposure, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the
health authorities to sternly enforce the restrictions on phthalates in toys
and to order the withdrawal from market of non-compliant products.

Quoting from the booklet on endocrine disrupting chemicals published by the
Endocrine Society (www.endocrine.org)  and IPEN (www.ipen.org),
the EcoWaste Coalition said that “phthalates act by interfering with androgen
(testosterone) production.  Because androgens are critical to male
development, including genital development, boys are thought to be most
vulnerable to exposure.”

“However, androgens also play important roles in females, making phthalates
relevant to both sexes,” the Endocrine Society and IPEN publication said.

have associated exposures to phthalates to a variety of health problems such as
birth defects, reproductive disorders, asthma, diabetes, obesity and

Exposures occur through ingestion, inhalation and skin contact.