Toxic watchdog group BAN Toxics promoting safe toys for kids and animals from harmful chemicals has sounded the alarm over the selling of squeaky plastic “pet” toys. The group managed to purchase a colorful squeaky “chameleon” toy, sold for P100 pesos each in a store in Divisoria, Manila in time for the holiday season.
Squeaky toys are popular to pets too, it gives out a unique sound which makes it fun and entertaining, hunting instincts, and chewing needs. The plastic toys contain undisclosed plastic additives that may put humans and animals at risk from exposure to health-damaging chemicals. Plasticizers such as Phthalates – a known endocrine disrupting chemicals, are the most used chemical additive in toys. It is used as a softener, stabilizer, colorant; it improves elasticity, and durability.
According to the Endocrine Society, endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are chemicals that mimic, block, or interfere with hormones in the body’s endocrine system. EDCs have been associated with a diverse array of health issues.
The Department of Health issued Administrative Order No. 2009-005-A (DAO No. 2009-005-A) states that “it shall be unlawful for any person to manufacture for sale, offer for sale, distribute in commerce, or import into the country any children’s toy that contains concentrations of more than 0.1 percent of di-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), dibutyl phthalate (DBP), or benzyl butyl phthalate (BBP).”
Under the guidelines and procedures for the implementation of Republic Act No. 8485 as amended by RA 10631 in order to promote and safeguard the welfare and well being of animals, Rule 6.6 states that persons responsible for the welfare of an animal shall follow an appropriate plan to provide said animal with the opportunity to exercise, the frequency, method, and duration of which shall be appropriate to the animal concerned or as may be recommended by a veterinarian. Enrichment activities and toys must likewise be provided.
“We appeal to pet lovers to be careful in buying squeaky pet toys and always check the labels. Harmless-like toys may expose not just children but also pets to toxic EDCs such as phthalates,” said Thony Dizon, Toxics Campaigner, BAN Toxics.
October is celebrated with the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi – a patron saint of the environment and animals because of his love for all creatures. In recent years, many congregations have started to bless pets and other animals as a way to mark this day and honor his spirit.