advised the public to steer clear of school supplies containing cancer-causing
and endocrine disrupting chemicals as consumers take advantage of
“back-to-school” promotional sales.
announce the test results of some items that the group bought and sent to SGS,
an international testing company, for phthalate analysis. Toxicologist
Dr. Erle Castillo was on hand to shed light on potential health effects of
phthalates to children’s health.
polyvinyl chloride plastic, or those marked “PVC,” “V” or “3”, which may
contain elevated concentrations of toxic phthalates (pronounced as THAL-ates).
flexible, are known to disrupt the body’s hormonal systems. DEHP,
one of the two types of phthalates found in the samples, is classified as a “probable
human carcinogen” by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ingestion, inhalation and skin absorption.
of five samples of seemingly harmless school supplies obtained from retail
outlets in Divisoria, Quiapo and Cubao, four were found positive for toxic
phthalates DEHP and/or DINP, namely:
the laboratory test.
2009-0005-A as amended in 2011, phthalates DEHP, DBP and BBP in
concentrations exceeding 0.1% are banned in the manufacturing of
toys. On the other hand, phthalates DINP, DIDP and DNOP above 0.1%
are banned in toys that can be placed in a child’s mouth.
but also in Europe and the US. So why are we finding them in very
high concentrations in school supplies, which, like toys, are directly handled
and used by children?,” asked Thony Dizon, Coordinator of the EcoWaste
Coalition’s Project Protect.
backpacks, two raingears and one lunch bag, as well as in two kiddie boxing
gloves and two swimming toys.
unregulated use of PVC-based children’s products is not only a public health
issue, but an environmental one as well. Burning PVC products at the
end of their useful lives will generate extremely toxic pollutants known as
dioxins,” Dizon warned.
PVC-free school supplies. At the same time, we ask the government to
extend the ban on toxic phthalates in toys to all children’s products,
including childcare articles and school supplies,” he added.
exposure is linked to genital abnormalities in boys, reduced sperm counts,
decreased ‘male typical’ play in boys, endometriosis and elements of metabolic
disruption, including obesity.”
highest exposures to phthalates, and that their exposures are often greater
than those in adults…due to increased intakes of food, water and air on a
bodyweight basis, as well as children’s unique exposure pathways such as
mouthing of objects and ingestion of non-food items.”
prevent exposures to phthalates via school supplies, the
EcoWaste Coalition advised consumers to heed the following
“Back-to-School Guide to PVC-Free School Supplies”:
1. Avoid school supplies made vinyl plastic or PVC
plastic, or those marked “3,” “V” or”PVC.”
PVC and may contain lead.
coating that may contain PVC.
and other children’s products to switch to non-PVC materials and to disclose
the chemical ingredients of their products, as well as to provide health and
safety instructions and warnings for the guidance of consumers.
Places of purchase and prices of the items:
1. Cat Man ballpen, SM Department Store, Quiapo, Manila, P29.75
2. Yellow raincoat with tiger design, Taliba Marketing, Juan Luna
St., Divisoria, Manila, P200.00
3. Plastic envelope with penguin design, National Book Store, Lucky Chinatown
4. Princess Mica shoulder bag, National Book Store, Alimall, Cubao, Quezon