The proliferation of toys, school supplies and other children articles in the market tainted with hazardous chemicals and substances runs unabated and directly could pose risk not only to consumers but more so to children.
These products are mostly made in and coming from China known for its cheap prices but unregulated quality control over these items.
House Bill 6552 seeks to regulate the importation, manufacture, sale and distribution of children’s toys, school supplies, childcare articles and other related products containing toxic chemicals.
“Such exposure can cause adverse health effects ranging from asthma and allergy symptoms, acute poisoning, neurological disorders, lowered intelligence performance, kidney and skin problems and even cancer among others,” according to Rep. Anthony G. Del Rosario (1st District, Davao del Norte), one of the authors of the bill.
The House of Representatives has approved the bill on second reading which would keep children safe from toxic chemicals and hazardous substances.
The measure directs the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prepare a list of chemicals and substances used in children’s products which cause or may cause harm, injury, or death to children; identify banned or prohibited substances and chemicals used in the manufacture, production, and preparation of children’s products and identify maximum levels and limits and reference values for certain chemicals used for the same.
To ensure the health safety of consumers relative to the use of products covered in this Act, the bill designates the Department of Health (DOH) to formulate policies, rules and regulations on food, drugs cosmetics, devices and substances.
Under the bill provision, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has the duty to enforce policies and regulate the importation, manufacture, distribution and sale of educational kits or school supplies, ensure that covered products comply with the Philippine National Standards on the Safety of Toys set by the Bureau of Product Standards and monitor and conduct market inspections on covered products.
The bill creates a Children Product Safety Council to engage in studies and researches on harmful and toxic chemicals and substances; conducts consultations with stakeholders, information campaigns; undertakes activities to improve policies and rules and regulations on the subject.