The Korea Herald


Endocrine-disrupting chemicals found in children’s products

By Kim Arin

Published : May 3, 2019 - 14:21

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About 130,000 children’s products were found to contain endocrine disruptors during customs clearance procedures, a Korea Customs Service report showed Friday.

KCS and the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards jointly performed a safety evaluation on children’s products for two months starting in March, ahead of the May 5 Children’s Day.

(Korea Customs Service) (Korea Customs Service)

Endocrine disruptors were detected in children’s products, containing 14 to 220 times more phthalate-based plasticizers than allowed. Phthalate plasticizers are hormone-disrupting toxic additives that are being increasingly banned globally due to health concerns.

Of the 130,000 products with harmful chemicals, 78 percent were pencils and other stationery goods, which are often wrapped in plasticized films.

Endocrine-disrupting chemicals are associated with reproductive system disorders, increased risk of cancer and delay in neurodevelopment, according to a 2012 World Health Organization report. Children and pregnant women are most vulnerable to exposure to the chemicals.

The customs agency said it plans to cooperate with relevant government agencies to return, dispose and investigate instances of illegal distribution of hazardous goods.

By Kim Arin (