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Warning Out on Toxic Shrilling Chicken Toy Containing Endocrine Disrupting and Cancer-Causing Chemical

Shrilling Chicken Toy

Quezon City. The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition has again advised consumers to refrain from buying an unauthorized Shrilling Chicken plastic toy from China, which is sold in physical and online stores as a squeaky toy for kids as well as pets.

The group’s latest warning came after the publication yesterday, February 16, of Alert Number A12/00315/24 at the Safety Gate, the European Union’s rapid alert system for dangerous non-food products, of a notification from the Government of Cyprus announcing the withdrawal of the said toy from the market for posing a chemical risk.

As described in the said notification, the plastic material of the yellow-colored squeaky toy in the shape of a chicken contains an excessive concentration of bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, or DEHP for short, amounting to 23.62 percent by weight, which is way beyond the 0.1 percent limit. “Phthalates may harm the health of children, causing possible damage to the reproductive system,” the notification said.

The Cypriot notification can be viewed here: https://ec.europa.eu/safety-gate-alerts/screen/webReport/alertDetail/10011644?lang=en

For over a decades now, the EcoWaste Coalition has been warning consumers against soft toys made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plastic, which may contain endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) like phthalates, which are added to PVC to make it soft and pliable. DEHP, aside from interfering with hormone functions, is also classified as “possibly carcinogenic to humans” by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).

To recall, the group revealed in 2010 the detection of DEHP and dibutyl phthalate (DBP) in a Shrilling Chicken, as per laboratory tests it commissioned. After the promulgation of a government policy in 2011 restricting certain phthalates in toys to not more than 0.1 percent, the group conducted a follow-up analysis in 2012, which again found the popular toy laden with phthalates.

Four years ago, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advised the public against the purchase and use of Shrilling Chicken after finding it adulterated with 8.4 percent of DEHP and 0.5 percent of diisononyl phthalate (DINP). Through Advisory No. 2020-042, the FDA also warned concerned establishments not to distribute adulterated toys and childcare articles.

Aside from Cyprus and the Philippines, several governmental authorities have also banned Shrilling Chicken from being sold in the market for containing phthalates and other chemicals of concern: Luxembourg (2017), Spain (2016), Czech Republic (2014), Sweden (2013), and Slovakia (2008), the EcoWaste Coalition said.

Watch for toy dangers

Sweden, in particular, found Shrilling Chicken contaminated with up to 10 percent of short-chain chlorinated paraffins (SCPPs), a class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) listed in the Stockholm Convention.

The EcoWaste Coalition has recommended the following steps to avoid and minimize children’s exposure to phthalates in plastic toys such as Shrilling Chicken:

  1. For national and local government health regulators to jointly enforce FDA Advisory 2020-042 banning Shrilling Chicken toys adulterated with phthalates.
  2. For physical and online sellers to stop selling unauthorized Shrilling Chicken toys and to return non-compliant items to their source for proper disposal.
  3. For parents not to allow their children to play with Shrilling Chicken unless the toy has been certified non-toxic and safe for kids to play with.



Links to various press releases of the EcoWaste Coalition on phthalates in Shrilling Chicken toys:


EcoWaste Coalition
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