EcoWaste Coalition’s Boxing Match Draws Attention to Toxic Chemicals that Are Specially Bad for Boys and Men


Taking advantage of the fast approaching Pacquiao –
Mayweather “fight of the century,” the EcoWaste Coalition today hosted a boxing
match to call attention to chemical plasticizers that are particularly
notorious for damaging men’s health.

The bout took place at the Elorde Boxing Gym in Lagro, Novaliches, Quezon
City with a yellow banner that says “Save the Boys (and the Girls, too):
Prevent Phthalate Exposure” as backdrop, and featured boxers “Totoy Kamao” (the
good guy) and “Nonoy Peligro” (the bad guy).
“Through this event, we hope to emphasize the need for awareness and action to
 reduce human exposure to phthalates,” said Thony Dizon, Coordinator of
the EcoWaste Coalition’s Project Protect, who also acted as referee for the
Phthalates (pronounced as THAL-ates) are a class of chemical compounds used to
make polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic pliable and softer.  
“Knowing how we Filipinos, especially the males, love this sport, we thought
that the boxing ring provides a good stage to attract attention to these
chemical compounds and their adverse impacts to men’s health,” he added. 
Phthalates are known to cause reproductive and sexual developmental disorders
such as malformed penises, undescended testicles and other genital deformities,
as well as cause damage to the kidneys, liver and lungs.
Humans get exposed to phthalates through eating, breathing and skin
contact.  Young children take in higher doses of phthalates due
to their habit of biting or chewing PVC toys, or through their common
hand-to-mouth behavior.

During the
match, “Nonoy Peligro” exchanged blows with “Totoy Kamao” hitting the latter
many times to illustrate how the human body is exposed to phthalates,
a ubiquitous ingredient in many products such as toys, cosmetics and
personal care items, medical devices, home improvement products and packaging
To underscore the male problem with phthalates, EcoWaste staff held round cards
every round with some of the adverse effects of phthalate exposure written on
the card.  For example, round 1 (deformed penis), round 2 (undescended
testicles), round 3 (infertility).
But like Manny Pacquiao, the legendary Filipino boxing icon, “Totoy Kamao”
fought hard, stood his ground and, in the end, won the bout with flurry of
combination punches.

At the end of
the match, “Totoy Kamao” held a placard that says “Enforce DOH A.O.
2009-0005-A,” the Department of Health-issued Administrative Order regulating
and restricting phthalates in children’s toys.
Dizon explained that phthalate exposure can be prevented, starting with the
enforcement of the said DOH regulation.
Under the said A.O., phthalates BBP, DBP and DEHP in excess of 0.1% by weight
are banned 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.

Last Sunday, the EcoWaste
Coalition cautioned consumers against buying kiddie boxing gloves that could be
laden with phthalate DEHP, a probable cancer-causing substance in humans
according to the US Environmental Protection Authonity.

The group’s
warning was based on the laboratory tests that detected DEHP in two kiddie
boxing gloves at 3.16% and 9.05%, way above the 0.1% regulatory limit.