Heavy Metal (R)
Study of Heavy Metals in Children Toys and Campaign for Safe Play in Nepal
The project under 6th research fellowship to our Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) on " Study of Heavy Metals in Children`s Toys and Campaign for Safe Play in Nepal" was completed under the fellowship program of UNEP Eco Peace Leadership Center (EPLC), Yuhan-Kimberly University, South Korea.
The study results and findings along with massive media and advocacy campaigns trigger the various initiatives towards enactment of required institutional and legislative framework to address the issues of chemicals in children toys in Nepal as our massive media and advocacy campaign drew the attention of high level government officials and institution including Government of Nepal, Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM).
CEPHED tested 100 toys made of plastic, metals, clay, fibers, wood, foam, rubber etc and collected from street vendor to shopping malls, departmental stores, educational enterprises and dedicated dealers supplying the children to most of the schools at Nepal Handicraft Testing Laboratory, A public Private Partnership model laboratory operated by Federation of Handicraft Associations of Nepal (FHAN) and Nepal Bureau of Standard and Metrology, Ministry of Industry, Government of Nepal., Balaju, Kathmandu with XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) Spectroscopy.
According the research finding, 54% of the tested toys found to be contaminated with several heavy metals like Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, Chromium and Bromine.
Out of positive result of chemical contaminated toys samples, 28 samples contain Lead, 1 Samples contains Mercury, 9 samples contain Cadmium, 14 samples contain Chromium and 40 samples contain Bromine.
54% samples have At Least ONE Chemical, 27 % have at least TWO chemicals, 11 % of samples have at least THREE chemicals and 1 % samples have at least FOUR Chemicals in them.
Only 29 % of the samples does have some labeling rest 71 % does not bears any labeling.
So situation is very serious about the fate of children. This issue has been totally ignored so far by all. Thus we did the massive media and advocating with all concerned keep hazardous chemicals away from Children toys and ensure their right to play safe though enacting policy, regulations, and standards as well as allocating the responsible government agencies. Compulsory provision of Chemical certification in import, sale, purchase and distribution with proper labeling will help to improve the situation. As of today in this 21st Century, children are getting exposed to toxics chemicals in absence of responsible government agencies and required act, regulation and standard despite of country being party to Convention on Right of the Children (CRC) since 1990 is quite disturbing factors for all of us.