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Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Parents should be more discriminating in buying toys

PIA Press Release
2010/12/06

Parents should be more discriminating in buying toys

Iloilo City (6 December) -- Parents, "Ninongs and Ninangs" need to be more discriminating in their choice of toys for their children and god- children this Christmas as many toys may contain phalates, synthetic chemicals added to polyvinyl choride plastic to make it soft and flexible.

Presently, the Philippines has no specific standard on phthalates. Although, the then Bureau of Food and Drugs issued as early as 1999 Advisory 99-05 where it warned that "phthalates may cause adverse health effects such as liver and kidney wounds, reproductive abnormalities and immune system defects."

Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF), an organization campaigning for toys without hazardous chemicals both in the political arena and by the manufacturers has published a "Safe Toys Guide," to guide consumers, among which are:

1. Less is more! Buy fewer toys, aim for quality over quantity.

2. Avoid very cheap toys because they often contain more hazardous chemicals.

3. Do not buy a toy with a strong chemical or perfumed smell or if it feels uncomfortable to the touch.

4. For young children, make sure that no small parts can be pulled off and swallowed.

5. Unpack any new toy and leave it outdoors to let some of the hazardous chemicals to evaporate.

6. For dolls: Buy rag dolls and wash stuffed dolls before use.

7. or cuddly toys: Look for products from natural or organic materials and wash and air toys before use.

8. For wooden toys: Buy solid, unvarnished and unpainted wooden toys with as few glued parts as possible.

9. For plastic toys: choose natural rubber toys, look for PVC-free and phthalate-free labels and avoid products which smell strongly of chemicals.

10. For art materials and cosmetics: Do not buy scented toys, as these can trigger lifelong fragrance allergies, which cannot be cured. Choose products with food or plant colorings and without preservatives. (PIA6)

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