My Google Page Rank

Excessive mercury content on products alarms lawmaker


A lawmaker on Wednesday expressed alarm over the continued sale of products containing excessive amounts of mercury in various products in the country.

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara said the Ecowaste Coalition proved that 13 out of 14 whitening products sold in different parts of Manila violated the one part per million (ppm) mercury limit set by the Association of Southeast Nations (ASEAN) Cosmetics Directive.

The products also did not label mercury as an ingredient though they contained excessive levels of mercury from 550 ppm to 60,800 ppm, he said.

"Despite the risks, mercury continues to be used in medical devices in school laboratories and even ordinary consumer products like toys, clothes, electronic gadgets, bags and drinking bottles which can be accessed easily by schoolchildren," he said.

Angara, chair of the HOuse committee on higher education, cited an incident in 2006 when St. Andrew's School in Paranaque was closed down when a class was exposed to mercury after a student accidentally opened a beaker containing mercury. More than half of the students were hospitalized and one of the students who inhaled mercury vapor could no longer go to school because of continuous high-grade fevers and tremors.

"School children should have the right to mercury-free schools. Schools should be able to provide a safe setting for children to learn, grow healthy and develop their full potential," he said.

Angara is urging on Congress to fast-track the approval of a bill that aims to protect individuals from mercury poisoning and mercury pollution.

He was author to House Bill 451 or the "Mercury Reduction Act," which pushes for a three-pronged approach to reducing mercury pollution.

The measure will mandate that products containing mercury use non-mercury alternatives instead. It also sets guidelines on the control of mercury release and mercury waste management.

The proposed Mercury Reduction Act also establishes an Environmental Advisory Council on Mercury Pollution which will be made up of one member each from the Senate and the House of Representatives, the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), and experts to be appointed by the President -- a public health specialist, toxicologist, scientist, representative of an environmental group, children's advocate and consumer advocate.

The Council will be tasked to make recommendations on how to prevent mercury pollution and reduce human exposure.

HB 451 also bans schools, universities and colleges from using mercury compounds in their laboratories.

"The Mercury Reduction Act will also prioritize public information and outreach. We have to make the public aware of the severe risks posed by mercury exposure and enable them to protect themselves from it," the Aurora solon said.

"Mercury exposure can cause a host of health problems and can even lead to serious damage to the nervous system of developing fetus and even death to young adults," he said.

"I urge my colleagues to support this bill. Let the 2006 incident be a lesson. The safety and security of school children should be our highest priority," he added.

By Lilybeth G. Ison-PNA

Related news items:
Newer news items:
Older news items:

Add comment

Security code

Four Kidnap victims rescued in Zamboanga del Norte

14 Mar 2018 Hits:198 Be the first to comment!

Four kidnap victims, who were held captive for nine days in Sirawai town, Zamboanga del Norte, have been escued, the military said. The Western Mindanao Command's spokesperson, Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, said as troops continue their rescue operations against lawless elements in Zamboanga Peninsula area, four kidnap victims were rescued in Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte at 3:00 p.m. on Monday. Petinglay identified the rescued kidnap victims as Roger Jung-an; Jomar Maglangit; Jomar Mantangan; and Raymond Purisima who were left by their disoriented captors after soldiers and policemen had been relentlessly pursuing them since their abduction. Accordingly, the four are chainsaw operators and laborers, all residents of Barangay San Vicente, Sirawai, Zamboanga del Norte, who were abducted at the vicinity of Barangay Panabutan of Sirawai [...] Read more

Prev Next Page:

Beng urges women: Be brave, be strong

09 Mar 2018 Hits:233 Be the first to comment!

In celebration of women empowerment, Mayor Beng Climaco urged all women to be brave and strong amidst challenges and difficulties. Speaking to hundreds of women and men who joined the Marcha [...] Read more

CA denies Musa’s motion on IP seat in City Council

09 Mar 2018 Hits:249 Be the first to comment!

The Court of Appeals has denied Ismael Musa’s motion for reconsideration relative to his assertion as sectoral representative of the Indigenous People in the Sangguniang Panlungsod of Zamboanga City. In a [...] Read more

City welcomes Curuan-Sibuco road

07 Mar 2018 Hits:336 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has welcomed the inclusion of the Curuan-Sibuco road project, one of the subprojects proposed under Improving Growth Corridors in Mindanao Road Sector Project (IGCMRSP) of the Department [...] Read more

Beng welcomes Litlit’s appointment as SP member

15 Feb 2018 Hits:471 Be the first to comment!

President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed San Roque Barangay Chairman Joselito “Litlit” Macrohom as member of the Sangguniang Panlungsod or City council replacing Charlie Mariano who stepped down from office last [...] Read more

City Registrar observes Civil Reg Month

15 Feb 2018 Hits:340 Be the first to comment!

The city, through the Office of the City Civil Registrar,is observing the Civil Registration Month this February with several activities highlighting the importance of civil registration. The month-long observance is punctuated [...] Read more

CHO stresses need for measles vaccination

14 Feb 2018 Hits:386 Be the first to comment!

The City Health Office (CHO) yesterday appealed to parents to submit their children for measles vaccination. This after a seven-month baby died last February 6, 2018 allegedly due to measles, five [...] Read more


11 Jan 2018 Hits:524 Be the first to comment!

Este el Istoria del Jong Cariaga Mindanao Cup 2018 que ya hace na Golden Boys gym anoche. Ya sale Champion el Myeisha Jolo kay completo todo departamento del juego especialmente [...] Read more

BFP personnel to undergo fire suppression activities

10 Jan 2018 Hits:465 Be the first to comment!

Personnel of the Bureau of Fire Protection in Zamboanga City will undergo fire suppression trainings in the days to come in a bid to keep them abreast of the firefighting [...] Read more


10 Jan 2018 Hits:429 Be the first to comment!

Del Domingo pasao ya mira kita con el Resto Del Mundo FC contra Red Corals United donde ya sale Tabla el juego na Soccer Football. Amo quel el ultimo juego [...] Read more

TFZ gets 10 motorcycles from City Government

09 Jan 2018 Hits:470 Be the first to comment!

Task Force Zamboanga (TFZ) on Monday received from the local government 10 units of XRM motorcycles for security patrols in the outskirts of the city. Mayor Beng Climaco together with Councilor [...] Read more

Beng leads destruction of seized items

09 Jan 2018 Hits:464 Be the first to comment!

To show the Local Government’s firm commitment to public safety and security, Mayor Beng Climaco on Monday personally maneuvered a road roller and led the destruction of seized items such [...] Read more

Warring clans arm cache seized by gov't troops in Lanao del Sur

09 Jan 2018 Hits:475 Be the first to comment!

The military on Saturday seized a cached of high-powered firearms from warring clans, following a clearing operation in Lanao del Sur province. Capt. Jo-Ann Petinglay, spokesperson of the Western Mindanao Command, [...] Read more


09 Jan 2018 Hits:418 Be the first to comment!

MINDANAO LEAGUE 2018 BY JONG CARIAGA: Boalan Agm  nuevo star athlete Kaiwa Sabdulla y si Neil Jumao-as ya dale mira kay puede sila gana con el maga mapuersa team como el [...] Read more


08 Jan 2018 Hits:347 Be the first to comment!

JONG CARIAGA BASKETBALL MINDANAO CUP ‘18. Que el juego ta ase na golden boys gym ta principia 7:00 del noche. Fritz Vesagas amo el ya ase gana con el disuyu [...] Read more


07 Jan 2018 Hits:378 Be the first to comment!

JONG CARIAGA MINDANAO CUP Este el un torneo que debe kita mira kay el team del Myiesha Jolo tiene 5 ex PBA athleta y el losdemas puru mga star players de [...] Read more

Climaco reiterates appeal to Customs: Stop smuggling

06 Jan 2018 Hits:968 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has once again appealed to the Bureau of Customs to clean up Zamboanga City against smuggling, and it can only be done if the agency will deputize [...] Read more

Escapee recaptured in Isabela

06 Jan 2018 Hits:411 Be the first to comment!

An inmate who escaped last Tuesday night from his cell in Isbela City was recaptured by the Isabela City Police on Wednesday afternoon in one of the islands in Maluso, [...] Read more

Beng orders intensified drive vs illegal quarrying

06 Jan 2018 Hits:387 Be the first to comment!

Mayor Beng Climaco has ordered a renewed campaign against illegal quarrying activities as she cited the city’s firm advocacy on environmental protection. Mayor Climaco Thursday has directed City Police Director PSSupt. [...] Read more