EcoWaste Coalition to Candidates: Please Don’t Give Away Toxic Baller Wristbands

The EcoWaste Coalition, a toxics watchdog,
urged political aspirants to think twice before ordering baller bands as
giveaways for the upcoming national and local polls in 2016.
The group issued the precautionary warning after finding
lead, a toxic chemical, in mostly polyvinyl chloride (PVC) rubber baller
wristbands that it bought from Divisoria retailers for P10 per piece.
Using a portable X-Ray Fluorescence analyzer, the group
detected lead in 27 out of 30 samples of baller bands in the range of 1,325 to
8,465 parts per million (ppm) of which 15 had lead content above 4,000
ppm.  Lead was not detected in the other
3 non-PVC baller bands.
“Made-to-order baller bands are popular campaign
giveaways.  Sadly, not all baller bands
are equal as there are types that contain harmful chemicals,” said Thony Dizon,
Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect.
Dizon zeroed in on PVC baller bands laden with lead, a
heavy metal, which according to the World Health Organization (WHO)” is a
cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly
harmful to young children.”
“While not originally intended for kids, these wrist
accessories may end up in children’s hands and mouths and directly expose them
to lead, a hazardous substance that attacks the brain and the central nervous
system,” he said. 
WHO has warned that “there is  no known level of lead exposure that is
considered safe.”
Aside from lead, PVC baller bands may contain other
dangerous chemical additives such as phthalates that are added to the material
to give it some useful properties, including elasticity and malleability.
To avoid giving away toxic campaign souvenirs, the
EcoWaste Coalition advised candidates, political parties and party-list groups
to obtain certificate of analysis from vendors to confirm the non-presence of
lead and other chemicals of concerns not only in baller bands, but in all other
campaign materials.
“In this manner, political aspirants avoid spending for
campaign stuff that can poison human health and harm the environment,” Dizon
The careful selection of campaign materials to buy, show
or give will benefit the public health and the environment as this will:
a. prevent chemicals of major public health concern from
being introduced to the market and the environment;
b. avoid potential human exposure to dangerous
c. cut trade in products containing harmful chemicals;
d. push consumer demand for non-toxic products; and
e. reduce disposal of toxic-laden waste materials in
cement kilns, incinerators, dumpsites and landfills.