An environmental health advocacy group on Tuesday renewed its call for safe and non-toxic toys when buying gifts for children, especially after discovering the continuous selling of toxic “shrilling chicken” toy in retail and online stores.
“Toy manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers, including online dealers, have a crucial role in ensuring that toys placed on the market conform to the highest safety and quality standards as verified by government regulators. Unfortunately, this is not always the case,” EcoWaste Coalition chemical safety campaigner Thony Dizon said in a statement.
“In countless test buys we have conducted, we have seen toys, especially those targeted for the C-D-E market, posing chemical and other hazards to children who can be very vulnerable to injuries and chemical exposures,” he said.
Dizon pointed out that toys that have been already tagged with public health warnings by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are still being sold in the market, such as the “shrilling chicken.”
It is a yellow squeezable plastic chicken toy imported from China that has been found to contain high concentrations of phthalates, which are added to plastics to make them flexible and soft.
The EcoWaste explained that phthalates are known endocrine disrupting chemicals linked to reproductive health problems like malformed penises and undescended testicles in boys and the early onset of puberty in girls.
On January 22, 2020, the FDA through Advisory No. 2020-042 warned the public from purchasing and using “unnotified and adulterated toy and childcare article” that is laden with excessive amounts of DEHP and DINP phthalates.
“Over seven months have passed since the advisory was issued and we still find shrilling chicken being sold in toy stores and online,” Dizon said.
“Just search for shrilling chicken in your favorite online shopping site and you will be shocked by the number of product ads as if this toy is not dangerous and banned,” he pointed out.
During the “ber”months, the EcoWaste Coalition said it will conduct further test buys and raise consumer awareness on toy safety using the results of the group’s labeling compliance check and chemical screening activities.
“With the cooperation of the government, industry and consumer sectors, we can make this season of gift-giving a joyful and safe occasion for all children,” the group said.