FDA warns against two unauthorized bicycles for kids

Beware:  Two brands of imported bicycles may pose health risks to children.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned the general public against the purchase and use of Good Boy and FANHX bicycles, which are marketed for children’s use.

In separate advisories posted on the FDA website on August 27, the agency confirmed that the toy bicycles have not gone through the required notification process and that the use of such violative products may pose health risks to consumers.

The agency also warned concerned establishments not to sell the violative products and further directed its field regional offices and regional enforcement units to ensure that such products are not sold in areas under their jurisdiction.

The toxics watchdog group EcoWaste Coalition welcomed the issuance of FDA Advisories 2021-2104 and 2021-2105 banning the said unauthorized bicycles that it reported to the agency last June.  The China-made bicycles are targeted for young children 1.5 to six years old.

“We welcome FDA’s action to protect children from being exposed to preventable health risks from unauthorized toys, including health-harming exposure to lead,” said Thony Dizon, Chemical Safety Campaigner, EcoWaste Coalition, noting that “children can be exposed to lead if they pick up and eat flaking paint chips from a lead coated bike, or ingest or breathe in lead dust.”

On the occasion of the World Bicycle Day last June 3, the group alerted the FDA regarding the online sale of lead painted FANHX and Good Boy bicycles, which violates the ban on lead paint as per DENR A.O. 2013-24, or the Chemical Control Order (CCO) for lead and lead compounds.

The said CCO, which bagged the 2021 Future Policy Award (special category for lead in paint), prohibits the use of lead in the production of paints and certain products, including toys, and sets a maximum limit of 90 parts per million (ppm) for lead in all types of paint.

Based on the laboratory tests commissioned by the EcoWaste Coalition, the Ateneo-based Philippine Institute of Pure and Applied Chemistry (PIPAC) found the yellow paint on Good Boy bicycle laden with 6,850 ppm of lead, while that of FANHX bicycle had 6,950 ppm. 

“There is no level of exposure to lead that is known to be without harmful effects,”  according to the World Health Organization (WHO), stressing that “young children are particularly vulnerable to the toxic effects of lead and can suffer profound and permanent adverse health effects, particularly affecting the development of the brain and nervous system.”

“Children’s innate curiosity and their age-appropriate hand-to-mouth behaviour result in their mouthing and swallowing lead-containing or lead-coated objects, such as contaminated soil or dust and flakes from decaying lead-containing paint,” explained the WHO. 

In light of the public health warnings issued by the FDA, the EcoWaste Coalition appealed to online shopping platforms to immediately take down product advertisements of violative toys sold by third-party dealers.

“Please take action to make online shopping a safe experience where consumers can find not only affordable, but also quality and non-toxic products, especially toys and other childcare articles,” the group said. — Press Release

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