DoH to parents: Watch out for toxic materials in school supplies

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THE Department of Health (DoH) called on parents to be on the lookout for toxic materials in school supplies.

“We appeal to parents be cautious when buying school supplies for their children; read carefully the labels to know if it is appropriate for your children and registered with our FDA (Food and Drug Administration) for safety, and immediately consult a doctor in cases of accidental ingestion or any adverse health effects while using school supplies,” Health Secretary Francisco H. Duque III said in a statement on Thursday.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released last year Advisory No. 2018-008 (also posted on its Web site) identifying a pencil brand, a crayon brand, and a paint brand found to have toxic levels of lead, cadmium, and mercury.

“Children, because of their physical and mental immaturity, have always been considered as a high-risk population. Their hand-to-mouth behavior as well as their innate curiosity predisposes them to put objects in their mouth resulting to unintended exposure to multiple hazardous substances that may be contained in such objects,” the advisory stated in part.

“Accordingly, to protect them from unnecessary hazards, parents, school teachers and guardians are strongly advised to strictly monitor the children especially when they are engaged in activities wherein adult supervision is required.” — GM Cortez