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A Toxics-Free Future

Philippines Results

The EcoWaste Coalition led the campaign and generated data on three types of consumer products: Children’s Products; Cosmetics; and School Supplies. All three studies provide insights into toxic substances in products which consumers are unknowingly purchasing. These studies generated national media and political attention.

“The data generated out of the product tests in Manila, Cebu and Davao would inform and fortify our push to eliminate health-damaging chemicals in consumer articles, especially those intended for kids’ use. The data, we know, will help policy makers and regulators in upgrading and expanding existing rules to proactively protect children’s health and safety.”
–Roy Alvarez, President of the EcoWaste Coalition

In many countries, an important route of entry for chemicals and metals is through consumer products. These substances can cause concern for consumer exposure, particularly in children.
This study measured toxic metals in 200 children’s products in Manila, Philippines with a focus on antimony, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, and mercury. Measurements were performed using a hand-held X-ray fluorescence analyzer (XRF). Approximately 30% of the products contained at least one toxic metal above levels of concern.
The data revealed 37 products (19%) that contained lead at or above the US regulatory limit. Twenty-seven samples (14%) contained more than one toxic metal. The study also found children’s toy cosmetics with mercury levels 4 – 5 times higher than the regulatory limit in the Philippines. The findings raise safety concerns for exposure in children and highlight the need for protective national regulatory policies. To our knowledge, this is the first publically available investigation of toxic metals in children’s products in the Philippines.

Samples containing lead above the US regulatory limit of 90 ppm

Sample No. City Place of purchase Product Lead (ppm)
2PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Key chain; Power Heroes League Plastic Robots 90
3PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Solid Stuff Art paint with picture frames 1793
6PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Police Car 126
17PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Mini race cars 103
20PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Face Mask 218
21PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Cellphone with button cell batteries 764
23PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Hi Speedy Motorcycle 563
27PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Miniature Animals 1387
29PHI07102011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Pizza Lover 237
55PHI07102011 Makati Ukay-Ukay Makati Pencil Case; Mickey Mouse Car 939
68PHI07102011 Quezon City Ukay-Ukay Cubao Toy; KFC Dragon stuff 995
73PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Ocean World Fish 1942
82PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Sticker 281
84PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Flooring; Puzzle mats 219
92PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Angel doll 155
95PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Transporter 8-wheel truck 96
104PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Forumula 1 Super Racer Car 96
105PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Ben 10 Character Toy Doll 108
106PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Toy; Angel Doll 158
115PHI07132011 Pasig City Robinson's Galleria Toy; Audey Baby Toy 1757
132PHI07132011 Quezon City National Book Store Toy; Word Factory 131
133PHI07132011 Quezon City National Book Store Toy; Wooden Number Blocks 12053
139PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Zudy dolls 1757
146PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Jump Rope 92
147PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Batman Brazelete 568
148PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Disney Brazelete 489
152PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Rubber fabric ball and dice 6160
154PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Cosmetics; Hannah Montana Make-up Kit 181
155PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria School supply; HJB Pencil w/ strap-type ruler 11676
163PHI07162011 Quezon City Ukay-ukay Cubao Toy; Wooden cart 925
171PHI07162011 Quezon City Ukay-ukay Cubao Toy; spider toy 152
178PHI07162011 Quezon City Japan Surplus Cubao Toy; Dino World Dinosaur Figure Set 501
183PHI07162011 Manila Divisoria Toy Figure 730
193PHI07162011 Manila Divisoria Personal care; Hair Tie 158
198PHI05202011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Nautilus Wooden Puzzle 746
199PHI05202011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Wooden Tractor 1119
200PHI05202011 Manila Divisoria Toy; Island Souvenir 449
210PHI07172011 Cebu Gaisano Metro Magic wagon with white horse and red green carrier 516
221PHI07172011 Cebu Toys R Us Decorative glass 38433
234PHI07172011 Cebu Robinsons Mini-glass with decorative design in multiple colors 27426
240PHI07172011 Cebu Toy Kingdom Carpentry Tool Set in multiple colors and pull along 689
276PHI07192011 Cebu SM Mickey mouse and Friends 3D Magnets 121
281PHI07202011 Cebu SM Vampire Plastic teeth 168
282PHI07202011 Cebu SM Mini-musical bugle with candies 341
285PHI07202011 Cebu National Bookstore Wooden pentagon Puzzle 1389
306PHl07212011 Davao Robinsons Toys R Us TMNT sand set 386
321PHl07212011 Davao SM-Davao Toy Kingdom Picnic Tea Set toys 1404
331PHl07212011 Davao SM-Davao Toy Kingdom Puzzle Mats 590
336PHl07212011 Davao Robinsons Toys R Us Car Blaze- Super Rapidity 2 391
337PHl07212011 Davao Robinsons Toys R Us Superman-Challenger set 120
344PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Billiard Set 358
346PHl07222011 Davao 568 Toys Lighting sword 410
347PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Princess Beauty Crown Set 122
350PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Container Ship Toy 92
351PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Painting Toys 1266
353PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Remote Control Car 185
356PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Music Computer Set 217
357PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Drum toy 1712
358PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Bow and Arrow 205
365PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Rooter Tractor 106
376PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Horse Toy 208
378PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Mini-Doll 105
382PHl07222011 Davao 568 Toys Batman Flying Disc 155
387PHl07222011 Davao Haotian Toys Shuckles 102
393PHl07222011 Davao 568 Toys Toy Cradle 210
427PHl07232011 Davao Bankerohan Fingernails with paint 249
431PHl07232011 Davao Bankerohan Ring 159

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Summary of toxic metal levels in children's products greater than levels of concern

Manila Cebu Davao
Metal No. samples % No. samples % No. samples % Total %
Antimony 24 12% 14 14% 18 13.0% 56 12.9%
Arsenic 16 8% 10 10% 10 7.0% 36 8.3%
Cadmium 5 3% 4 4% 5 4.0% 14 3.2%
Chromium 17 9% 5 5% 11 8.0% 33 7.6%
Lead 37 19% 8 8% 22 16.0% 67 15.4%
Mercury 5 3% 1 1% 2 1.0% 8 1.8%

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Children's cosmetics containing mercury and other toxic metals

Sample # City Place of purchase Product Name Mercury Lead Chromium
88PHI07132011 Pasay City Baclaran Kid's Make Up Set; lipstick 77
117PHI07132011 Quezon City Toy Express Star Model - Cosmetic Set
117e - (yellow,eyeshadow) 5.4
117f - (red eyeshadow) 5.1
117g - (orange eyeshadow) 5.3
117h - (green make-up) 5.1
117i - (pink make-up) 4
154PHI07142011 Manila Divisoria Hannah Montana Make-up Kit
154b - (orange cake) 5 181 1010
202PHI07172011 Cebu Gaisano Metro Barbie 3 set Eye shadow cosmetic
202a- (yellow eye shadow) 3.6
202b- (blue eye shadow) 2.9
202a- (violet eye shadow) 2.5

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This activity has been produced with the financial assistance of various donors including the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation, SSNC. The views herein shall not necessarily be taken to reflect the official opinion of SSNC.

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