Public warned vs toxic school items

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Wednesday, May 28, 2014


A DEPARTMENT of Trade and Industry (DTI)-Davao official cautioned consumers from buying school supplies that may be high in toxic substances and harmful to children.

DTI-Davao senior trade and industry development specialist Alvin R. Aranas, who was a guest in Monday's Kapehan sa Dabaw at the Annex of SM City Davao, said the public must check and verify if a product is safe or whether it has a non-toxic label.

"Pagkakaiba ang pangalan ng product at walang label, wag na bilhin (If the name of the product sounds weird and it has no label do not buy it)," Aranas said.

Deborah S. Legaspi, supervisor of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Davao City, said in an interview on Tuesday that parents may verify and check the brand or product at their Consumer Corner at www.fda.gov.ph.

"Bumili ka sa mga kilala na na mga wholesalers or retailers [to be sure that the product is safe] (Buy your products from known wholesalers or retailers to be sure that the product is safe)," Aranas said, adding that it is better to purchase established or popular brands.

He also said consumers should not compromise the safety of their children by buying products that are too cheap.

Legaspi said they conducted a post-market surveillance last May 22 on common school supplies for lab analysis as a safety measure for consumers.

Legaspi said they took random samplings of different school supplies worth around P5,000 from different establishments in downtown area.

"Some of the products that we bought are pencils, crayons, metal pencil case, glue, modeling clay, and chalk," she said.

Legaspi said they will send the supplies this week to the central office in Muntinlupa City for lab analysis of heavy metals.

"The lab will test if the heavy metals in the randomly selected school supplies are within the allowable limit," she said.

Legaspi said they are hoping that the results will be available in within two weeks. (RJFL)

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 29, 2014.

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