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Every month of May, we get to celebrate the woman whose love is always unconditional and immeasurable – our number one fan, best friend and ilaw ng tahanan – our mothers!

Mother’s Day has always been well-celebrated by Filipinos and we make sure that on this day, our nanay, mama, or mommy feel extra special. Most of us would either treat her to a date or pamper her the entire day. However, if you are inclined to buying her a special gift, here are three (3) items that we need to be wary of:

Aromatic Candles

It can be argued that candles are the easiest pick for a gift. However, did you know that fragrances used in candles and other products that diffuse aromatic scents may possibly contain synthetic substances that are unsafe to inhale? 

A research on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) in modern houses found the chemical limonene to be noticeable among others. It is commonly used in air fresheners and candles, and gives off a citrusy scent. 

Limonene reacts with the ozone and other air compounds which results to a half percentage of its kind altering into formaldehyde.  Short-term to longer exposure to formaldehyde has been linked to cause sore throat, cough, scratchy eyes, nosebleeds, and increased chances of getting respiratory cancer.

In fact, formaldehyde has been tagged as a human carcinogen at the 12th report of the National Toxicology Program in the United States of America.


If you are thinking of giving your mom an addition to her collection of ceramics such as vases, figurines or dinnerware sets, be advised that these may contain lead.

Lead is a naturally occurring bluish-gray metal that can be found free in nature or easily mined and refined from ore. This has been proven to be a cumulative toxicant that affects human health. According to Philippine FDA, through chronic ingestion of high level of lead may manifest as neurologic, hematologic, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular and renal problems.

Based on Contra Costa Health Services, lead gives off the glasslike and smooth touch of ceramics that allow vivid colors and decorative styles on the surface.


While we are on the topic of vivid colors, a study in Edith Cowan University in Western Australia, proved that lipstick is the “go-to” gift for women.

It revealed that 72 per cent of women love lipstick as a gift because they “like to try new lipsticks and colours”. And 90 per cent of the respondents indicated that they would ‘rarely’ or ‘never’ go shopping specifically to buy a lipstick. However, some lipsticks also carry lead as one component.

In 2007, Campaign for Safe Cosmetics revealed that a number of lipsticks sold in the United States exceeded USFDA’s 0.1 ppm limit. And the Philippine FDA released Advisory No. 2013-033 warning the public against buying lipsticks that were “unnotified” and may contain high levels of heavy metals, especially lead.

It is important for us to always be sure of our health and safety, especially when giving out items that may be detrimental to the recipient’s well-being.

So, if you find a product that you are unsure of, you may directly report this by sending an email to or contact the FDA Customer Service Hotline at (02) 857 – 1984.

Here in SGS, we also offer hardline services that meet regulatory requirements and guarantee product safety. The hardline services include solutions catering to materials, safety, performance, comparative, and restricted substance testing, product certification and product approval marks, inspection, assessment, and technical assistance. 

Plus, we also offer cosmetic and personal care testing services that will meet regulatory requirements and ensure product safety. Our cosmetics testing portfolio includes physical and chemical testing, microbiological tests, stability studies, toxicological testing, ecotoxicology studies, product performance testing and packaging performance test.

For more inquiries, you can contact us here or drop us a message on our official Facebook page @SGSPhilippines.

About SGS

SGS is the world’s leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 90,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 2,000 offices and laboratories around the world.