BAN Toxics made the call after raincoats from a recent test buy tested positive for toxic lead and cadmium. Using a SCIAPS X-200 HH XRF Analyzer, the raincoats were found to have excessive levels of lead and cadmium, with up to 3,000 parts per million (ppm) and up to 500 ppm respectively.
The DENR issued DAO 2013-24 or CCO for Lead and Lead Compounds which strictly prohibits its use in the production and manufacturing of school supplies.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), lead is a known cumulative toxicant that affects multiple body systems and is particularly harmful to young children. Lead exposure can have serious consequences for children’s health. At high levels of exposure, lead attacks the brain and central nervous system, causing coma, convulsions, and even death. In particular, lead can affect children’s brain development, resulting in reduced intelligence quotient (IQ), behavioral changes such as reduced attention span and increased antisocial behavior, and reduced educational attainment. Lead exposure also causes anemia, hypertension, renal impairment, immunotoxicity and toxicity to the reproductive organs. The neurological and behavioral effects of lead are believed to be irreversible.
On the other hand, cadmium exerts toxic effects on the kidneys as well as the skeletal and respiratory systems. It is classified as a human carcinogen.
“We will stay vigilant and continue to raise public awareness on toxic chemicals in children’s products as part of our campaign for Toxics-Free Schools. The protection of our children from toxic harm is their right and our responsibility,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner of BAN Toxics.
“We also call the attention of wholesalers and retailers to sell only children’s products that underwent product safety standards, including complete product labeling and chemical information to guide the consumers, ” he added.
BAN Toxics is an independent non-government environmental organization that works for the advancement of environmental justice, health, chemical safety, and sound management of chemicals and wastes, with a special focus on women, children, and other marginalized sectors.