Watch Group Warns: Toxic Toy Ruler-Wrist Band Sold for P5 Outside Schools

A watch group for toxic chemicals today
cautioned parents and students against buying a cheap toy commonly sold outside
public elementary schools that contains high concentrations of lead, a
hazardous substance.
The EcoWaste Coalition aired the warning after finding
dangerous amount of lead in a toy ruler with Ninja Turtle characters.  The ruler also doubles as a wrist band and
comes with a crayon eraser.  It is sold
for P5 per packet.  The product provides
no information about its manufacturer, importer or distributor.
The toy ruler-wrist band was found to contain 47,000
parts per million (ppm) of lead as per X-Ray Fluorescence screening conducted
by the group.  No lead was detected on
the crayon eraser.
“As a precaution against potential lead exposure, we
advise parents not to allow their children to buy and use this toxic ruler that
also functions as a wrist band,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator, EcoWaste
Coalition’s Project Protect.
The product is made of a flexible metal sheet that is
covered with a thin colored plastic wrapper with Ninja Turtle design.
Product examination shows that the metal sheet — a
recycled roll-up tape measure — is coated with a yellow paint, which
apparently contains lead above the regulatory restriction for lead in paint.
DENR Administrative Order 2013-24, also known  as the Chemical Control Order for Lead and
Lead Compounds, sets a maximum allowable limit of 90 parts per million for
total lead in paint.
The same regulation prohibits the use of lead in the
production of toys as well as school supplies.
“Sooner or later, the plastic wrap will get torn with
frequent use exposing the lead-coated metal strip,” Dizon warned.
“Lead can enter a child’s body through the ingestion or
inhalation of lead-containing paint chip and dust,” he said.
According to the World Health Organization, “children are
particularly vulnerable to the neurotoxic effects of lead, and even relatively
low levels of exposure can cause serious and, in some cases, irreversible
neurological damage.”
The potential for adverse effects of lead exposure is
greater for children than for adults, because in children 1) the intake of lead
per unit body weight is higher, 2) more dust may be ingested, 3) lead
absorption in the gastrointestinal tract is higher, 4) the blood–brain barrier
is not yet fully developed and 5) neurological effects occur at lower levels
than in adults, the WHO said.
Primary prevention, or the elimination of exposure to
lead at its source, is the single most effective intervention against childhood
lead poisoning,  the WHO further said.
Among other preventive measures, WHO has recommended the
phase out the use of lead in paints on a worldwide basis, and the elimination
of the use of lead in homes, schools, school materials and children’s toys.