WATCH OUT: Toxic and mislabeled toys obtained by EcoWaste Coalition

WATCH OUT: Toxic and mislabeled toys obtained by EcoWaste Coalition

Environmental group EcoWaste Coalition has asked government authorities to intensify the crackdown on establishments selling unlabeled and improperly labeled toys being sold in the market.

Such call was made 75 days after the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Republic Act 10620, also known as the Toy and Game Safety Labeling Act of 2013, took effect.

Unsafe toys sold without proper labels

According to EcoWaste Coalition, there unlabeled and mislabeled toys are being bought by the consumers after examining 27 toys and finding out they do not conform with the law’s labeling requirements.

“We regret that some toys in the market do not conform with RA 10620-prescribed mandatory labeling requirements, denying consumers of their basic right to information which is indispensable in the selection of age-appropriate, safe and non-toxic playthings that all children deserve,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition.

What to look for in toy labels

As stated in Rule 1 of the IRR, the following information are needed in toy and game labels: License to operate (LTO) number issued by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); age grading; cautionary statement/warningsl; instructional literature; manufacturer’s marketing; and item, model, stock-keeping unit (SKU) number.

The assortment of toys were obtained last August 3-5 from several retailers in Makati City, Manila, Pasay City, and Quezon City with their prices ranging from P5 to P350 each.

It was discovered that none of the toys was compliant to the general requirements of toy labels stated in Rule 1.

  • Five had zero labeling information;
  • 21 samples lacked LTO number issued by the FDA;
  • 17 samples provided no age labeling information;
  • 12 samples displayed no cautionary statements such as “Warning: Not suitable for children under 3 years. Contains small parts” or its equivalent graphical symbol;
  • 27 samples had no usage instructions;
  • 24 samples provided zero or incomplete name and address of the toy manufacturer or distributor; and
  • 15 samples had no item, model, SKU number.

Another further requirement of Rule 1 is that the toy’s label must be generally written in English, visible, easily legible, and the product itself should have the attached user’s instructions.

“The labeling information in some sample toys are microscopic to be read and understood and thus requiring the use of a magnifying glass,” Dizon observed.