EDITORIAL

Thursday, October 12, 2017

IN THESE economically trying times, surplus stores or your so-called ukay-ukay attract a lot of patrons. They sell used / second-hand / pre-loved clothing, shoes, bags, and many more. But going to your favorite ukay-ukay may be bad for your health and that of your family if you do not know what exactly you are buying and paying for.

As early as 2012, toxics watchdog EcoWaste Coalition raised alarm over cheap items sold in ukay-ukay or surplus stores. Some items tested were found to contain toxic metals above levels of concern such as lead, a potent neurotoxin, and cadmium, a probable cancer-causing agent.

We’re not saying you should stop going to these places to shop for your needs, but you should always be nosy and insist on product safety information before heading to the cashier to pay for your purchase. In fact, a safety-conscious consumer should demand information regardless of where the product is bought. And retailers who care for the health and safety of their customers should immediately take the tainted items off their stores.

Exposure to lead can result in reproductive, developmental, behavioral and neurological disorders, including birth defects, attention deficit disorder, decreased intelligence, language and speech problems, and a host of other ailments such as poor muscle coordination, high blood pressure, and damage to the brain and the kidneys.

We Filipinos are a budget-conscious people and this explains the popularity of ukay-ukay. But affordability should not be the only criterion to consider when making purchases. Health, too, must be factored.

Think before you buy at your favorite ukay-ukay.