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Monday, December 19, 2011

Got TOXIC TOYS ?!

Ah, childhood, when we're full of energy, when our "job" is to play.
These days it seems everything is complicated, including the toys and books children use.

Many hundreds of toys are contaminated with toxic chemicals which are known to cause a variety of harm especially to the small, but growing bodies of kids. The effects range from brain damage to adverse systemic reactions to cancer.
In fact, a new report from Maine issued on 12/13/11 names more than 650 well know toy products that contain multiple hormone-disrupting chemicals, including brands such as PLAYMOBIL and Chicco, with products from baby rattles to play figures to backpacks and much more.

 Toxic Alphabet Soup

Although in the US we have restricted lead and other heavy metals by law, they are still found in a chemical soup of possible contamination by PVC, cadmium, antimony, BPA ( restricted from baby bottles, but not yet out of toys), arsenic, pesticides and or formaldehyde.  Many toxic chemicals are also present in kids books!
In 2010 there were 6 recalls of toy jewelery due to high levels of cadmium, Barbie and "Dora  the Explorer" products are popular examples containing hormone disruptor PVC.

 Toxic Teddy Bears?!

Soft and plush toys can have their own set of toxins, including fire retardants, pesticides and stain resistant chemicals, all of which are detrimental to present and future health. And baby bibs are yet another source of toxic exposure!

What's a Parent or Friend to Do?!

There IS GOOD News!
Lots of truly Healthy Toys are available in stores and online!
So:
1. Be diligent and aware, as careful with toy purchase as with other items, perhaps more so.
2. Read labels, ask questions.
3. As in all areas of life, avoiding plastic wherever possible, buying locally and organically makes a good sense.
4. Look for untreated wool, non-toxic dyes, untreated, organic cloth.
5. Because even materials which started out as "natural" like wood are often finished with another toxic ingredient called NPRs, or nonylphenol ethoxylates - a hormone disruptor similar to BPA and PVC - 
purchase toys with natural finishes such as beeswax, linseed oil or walnut oil. Or choose unfinished wood.

Some organizations with good info : 
http://www.ceh.org
http://www.greenamerica.org
http://www.healthytoys.org

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!