QUEZON CITY, October 9, 2022 — Students at San Antonio Elementary School (SAES), along with
their teachers and parents, had their toys checked for possible toxic chemical content during a ‘Toxic
Toy Clinic’ initiated by the toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics.
In accordance with the celebration of Consumer Welfare Month in October 2022, BAN Toxics
organized a community event for 500 students, teachers, and parents from SAES, La Consolacion
University Philippines (LCUP), and Dr. Yanga’s College Inc. (DYCI) to bring attention to the need to
protect all children from toxic chemical exposure in toys and raise awareness about the health
impact and child development issues it might bring to them.
In a statement, BAN Toxics Toxic Campaigner Thony Dizon expressed concern about the safety of
children due to the pervasive presence of toxic chemicals in toys, especially as the Holiday season
approaches. “As much as we want to make our children happy by giving them toys as gifts, especially
during holidays, we must also ensure that they are safe and away from danger,” Dizon said.
“Toys are supposed to give joy to children and help them stimulate their imaginations, not
make them sick,” he added.
Among the speakers at the event were Dr. Lawrence Belo, Assistant Professor at the Department of
Chemical Engineering from De La Salle University Manila, and Dr. Germin Louis C. Apostol,
Environmental Health Specialist of Center for Research and Innovation in Ateneo School of Medicine
and Public Health.
Dr. Apostol emphasized the negative impacts that exposure to harmful substances in toys may have
on children’s health and their growth development.
“We are now living in a toxic world and Filipino children, our children, are especially vulnerable to the
negative health effects from multiple exposures in school, at home, and in the community environments. When we protect the health of our environment, we protect our children’s future,” Dr. Apostol said.
During the program, BAN Toxics, Dr. Belo, and Dr. Apostol provided everyone with suggestions and
gift alternatives for the upcoming holiday season when purchasing gifts for children.
Toxic Toy Clinic was an event aligned with BAN Toxics’ long-term program, Toxic-Free Schools
Program (TFSP), a campaign designed to raise awareness of the negative effects of toxic chemicals
and wastes found in schools, homes, and communities. The initiative aims to promote environmentally sustainable and safe alternatives, as well as educate students and members of the community on sound chemical and waste management.
The Toxics-Free Schools Program is concerned with toxic chemicals and wastes that may be present
in schools, homes, and communities. Children’s health is jeopardized by their exposure to toxic chemicals such as lead, mercury, phthalates, cadmium, and arsenic. The program also promotes responsible waste management at school and at home. This includes proper waste segregation, the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle), urban gardening and composting, and reducing the use of single-use plastics.
In 2019, the European Environmental Bureau (EEB), an international network of environmental
organizations, reported that several Chinese toy models were contaminated with hazardous chemicals blocked by the Government of Belgium from entering. Toxic substances such as phthalates, which can cause damage to the liver, kidneys, and lungs, were discovered in the toys, along with boron, which can irritate the nose, throat, and eyes and might possibly cause damage to the stomach and brain. In line with this, EEB also released a public information film the same year to raise awareness about the use of harmful chemicals in children’s toys.
“We want to ensure that not only the parents and guardians, but also the children themselves, are
well-informed about the presence of toxic chemicals in their toys, the adverse consequences those
chemicals can have, and the means by which these chemicals can be avoided. Therefore, our organization will continue to provide kids with knowledge through such projects, and we hope that
more schools and academic institutions will participate,” says Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of
Melendre Heidyl dela Torre, Communications Officer, BAN Toxics
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