BE careful about the toys you’ll give to your siblings, kids, or inaanak.
Many toys being sold in outlets around Metro Manila fail to comply with labelling requirements mandated by the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act or Republic Act 10620, according to the EcoWaste Coalition.
This means consumers are not properly informed about the toys they are purchasing, which could be hazardous, according to Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition.
“As a result, consumers are not given the necessary facts that can help them in making an informed choice on which toys to purchase or avoid,” Lucero said in a statement.
The implementing rules and regulations of the law require the following to be printed or affixed to the package, container, or protective covering of the toys and games:
- License to operate number issued by the Food and Drug Administration
- Age grading, which is determined by the manufacturer, according to international norms
- Cautionary statements/warnings
- Instructional literature
- Manufacturer’s marking, which consists of the complete name and address of the local company responsible for placing the product in the market, and trademark or trade name that clearly identifies the manufacturer or distributor
- Item, model, and stock keeping unit number
Lucero said the industry’s compliance with the law remains wanting.
She made the observations after EcoWaste bought toys from various retail stores in Makati, Manila, Pasay, and Quezon City.
Of the 67 toys it bought, only one product complied with mandatory labelling requirements.
Another 47 had no license number; 19 did not specify any age recommendation; 19 provided no cautionary statements or warnings; 57 gave no usage instructions; 54 lacked manufacturer’s and local distributor’s markings; and 35 had no item model or SKU number.
“Toys that do not conform with the labeling and packaging requirements, as well as the safety labeling statements, are considered ‘misbranded’ or ‘hazardous banned substance’ as per RA 10620 that must be withdrawn from the market,” Lucero said.
Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers found who violate the law would face fines ranging from P10,000 to P50,000 or imprisoned for three months to two years, or both.
Other potential hazards
EcoWaste Coalition also warned consumers about the potential chemical hazards from toys.
These include antimony and bromine in some toy guns and Rubik’s cube-like toy, which could indicate the use of e-waste, it said.
It also warned against the polyvinyl chloride plastic material used in soft plastic toys, which may contain toxic plasticizers.
People should also be cautious about the unsecured button cell batteries in some toys, which could be easily removed and get ingested by a curious child, it said.
Moreover, the group said it was concerned that many toys being sold in the market are made of plastic, which could be bad for the environment.
“What are the environmental effects of producing these plastic toys, which are petrochemical products, and what happens to them at the end of their useful life? How much of these toys get recycled, landfilled or incinerated? With the avalanche of plastic toys in the market, there is a pressing need to understand the impact of plastic toys and their chemical components on human health and the environment,” it said.