Public warned: 'Toxic' magnets being sold in market may harm kids

Published September 22, 2021, 10:56 AM

by Joseph Pedrajas

A pro-environment group has warned the public against buying magnets for children that may be coated with dangerous lead paint.

Lead painted toy magnet (Photo: EcoWaste Coalition)

In a statement Tuesday, Sept. 21, the EcoWaste Coalition said it found out that six of the eight small magnets bought from a store in Paco, Manila and marked “made in China” were coated with excessive amount of lead paint and did not have any permit to be sold from the Food and Drug Administration.

“Whether used for science experiments or for playing games, magnets, like any other products marketed for children’s use, must be safe from lead, which is toxic if ingested and can trigger negative health effects,” said Thony Dizon, EcoWaste Coalition’s chemical safety campaigner.

“Some magnets, as shown in our investigation, are covered with lead paint that can chip, wear and deteriorate over time and get swallowed by young children through normal hand-to-mouth behavior,” he added.

The use of lead paint in toys and school supplies, especially if excessive, is prohibited under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Administrative Order 2013-24, or the Chemical Control Order for Lead and Lead Compounds.

Children’s exposure to lead, according to the World Health Organization, may leave them with permanent “adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system.”

As such, EcoWaste Coalition called on the authorities to cause the removal of non-compliant products from the market and ensure business establishments’ compliance with the country’s rules and regulations.