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EcoWaste Coalition urges ban on sale of plastic balloons

by Marje Pelayo   |   Posted on Friday, May 3rd, 2019

Courtesy : FDA

MANILA, Philippines – Environment group EcoWaste Coalition urges the government to impose extreme ban on the manufacture and sale of plastic balloons that may pose health risks to children.

The group specifically noted plastic balloon kits that contain hazardous chemical benzene – a colorless, sweet-smelling but highly flammable chemical, that is considered “carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization and the International Agency for Cancer Research.

EcoWaste’s call came after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on April 25 issued a public health warning against unnotified toy and childcare articles (TCCAs) such as plastic balloons that have not been issued the proper market authorization.

The FDA identified the brands as J.H. Toy Lasting Friend Space Balloon; Magic Balloon; Zestar Plastic Balloon size 11; and Zestar Plastic Balloon Size 7The advisory.

The warning was uploaded to the FDA website on April 30.

The FDA, likewise, advises the public buy TCCA products only from reputable stores or dealers and always read the label.

The agency also advises consumers to check the FDA’s notification number on TCCA products and never buy TCCAs that do not have instructions written in Filipino or English.

“All concerned establishments are warned not to distribute the above-identified violative TCCA products until they have already been covered by the appropriate authorization, otherwise, regulatory actions and sanctions shall be strictly pursued,” the FDA said. – Marje Pelayo

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EcoWaste Coalition calls out online sellers of mercury-laced skin whiteners

by Maris Federez   |   Posted on Friday, April 12th, 2019

EcoWaste Coalition has lashed out on third party sellers of mercury-laced skin lightening cosmetics in popular e-commerce sites.

The environmental watchdog’s chemical safety campaigner, Thony Dizon, said these popular e-commerce platforms must not allow their sites to be used in the unethical and unlawful trade of hazardous cosmetics.

“We find the unabated sale of dangerous skin whitening products in online shopping sites deeply disturbing and unacceptable,” said Dizon, adding that exposing customers to mercury will put their health and the environment at risk.

Dizon appealed to the said e-commerce platforms to monitor the products being sold by third party merchants as the government formulate policies that will regulate the online selling business.

The coalition, specifically called on the top three e-commerce sites, Lazada, Shopee, and eBay to support the Minamata Convention on mercury by taking down third-party ads of mercury-laden cosmetics.

The Minamata Convention on Mercury is a global treaty to protect human health and the environment from the adverse effects of emissions and releases of mercury and mercury compounds as a result of human activities or productions. 

The treaty aims at globally phasing out, among others, skin whitening cosmetics such as creams, lotions, and soaps with mercury above one part per million (ppm) by 2020. 

EcoWaste studies showed that that Ailke Perfect Salvation, Angel Placenta, Collagen Plus Vit E, Erna, Goree, and Jiaoli are among those already banned by the FDA for containing mercury above the trace amount limit of 1 ppm.

In accordance with the ASEAN Cosmetic Directive, mercury is not allowed as ingredient in cosmetic product formulations.

Mercury in skin-whitening products inhibits the production of melanin pigment leading to a “fairer” skin tone.

However, EcoWaste reiterated that mercury can cause damage to the nervous, immune, and renal systems and also causes skin discoloration, rashes, and scarring, as well as reduce dermal resistance to bacterial and fungal infections. – Maris Federez

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Water shortage increases use of disposable products—Ecowaste

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Friday, March 15th, 2019

Residents are using a lot of single-use plastic disposables due to the ongoing water service interruption and it is hurting the environment, according to Ecowaste Coalition.

The environmental group said eateries and other households are turning to plastic-based items, to avoid using water amid the shortage. 

“The increased demand for disposable items during this time of water scarcity will surely add to the volume of residual garbage that generators from households to business establishments churn out every day,” said Aileen Lucero, National Coordinator, EcoWaste Coalition.

Lucero said more businesses might buy and use more single-use plastic disposables during the waterless period.

The group hopes for the water shortage to be resolved soon and urging residents to intensify water saving measures. —Aileen Cerrudo

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Green group pushes for nationwide total firecracker ban

by admin   |   Posted on Thursday, December 6th, 2018

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health is gearing up its annual anti-firecrackers’ campaign, “Oplan: Iwas Paputok, Fireworks Display Ang Patok,” which aims to reduce the number of firecracker-related injuries by steering the public away from its use and supporting community fireworks displays in celebrating the new year.

The campaign is in compliance with President Rodrigo Duterte’s Executive Order (EO) No. 28 which seeks to regulate and control the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices.

However, for environmental group EcoWaste Coalition, all kinds of firecrackers must be banned in the entire country.

“Bagama’t nakikibahagi tayo dito sa kampanya ng Department of Health ay mayroon pa ring talagang sariling posisyon yung EcoWaste at talagang yan ay ang pagpipigil o pagba-ban talaga ng paggamit kahit anong klaseng paputok,” said EcoWaste Coalition chemical safety campaigner, Anthony Dizon.

He added that legalizing firecrackers will not diminish the hazards it poses to the general public.

“Legal man yan o ilegal magdudulot pa rin yan ng pinsala lalong-lalo na sa kamay na mismo o kung hawak na yan ng mga bata,” said Dizon.

The group also distributed copies of a draft ordinance to all local government units in the 17 cities of Metro Manila to campaign for the total firecracker ban.

The group insists that just like in Davao City, which has long adopted the ban, it is also possible to implement the proposed ordinance in other parts of the country.

“Maghanap ng alternatibong panghanap buhay sa mga kababayan natin lalong-lalo na sa mga nagtitinda o nagpro- produce nito,” suggested Dizon.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fire Protection has already recorded 19 firecracker related incidents nationwide. — Chato Alonsagay (with reports from Cathy Maglalang)

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