I've decided to expand this blog to include some personal posts.  Not every post will focus on ecothriftiness, but I'll try to keep any new info I learn circulating through this blog.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

On PBS - Avoid Toxic Toys

I found this article on PBS's website entitled, Finding Non-Toxic Toys.  (To provide more info to you faster, you should assume that any info I give credit to another source is a direct quote.)

Most interesting, I found out that there is a service through Moms Rising.org where "Parents can simply text "healthytoys" and the name of a particular toy, a type of toy or a toy manufacturer or retailer to 41411 to find out whether a toy is toxic. MomsRising will respond instantly with a message."

A representative from Healthy Child, Healthy World gave these stats:
  "People assume that products must be proven safe before they can be sold and that the government wouldn't allow unsafe toys to be sold. These assumptions are false. Government regulations are very outdated and weak when it comes to the burgeoning world of chemicals and their use in consumer products, despite our growing scientific understanding of the potential hazards of many of these chemicals."
  • The government doesn't require companies to fully disclose to consumers what's in their products, or to label them so consumers can make their own choices.
  • The office in charge of regulating children's toys, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), does not have the authority to ensure that toys are safe. The CPSC cannot legally test children's products before sale and would not have the capacity or funding to do so even if they wanted to. Recalls are mainly voluntary, rarely happen and generally only do after damage has already been done.
  • Even if the U.S. had tougher regulations in place for local manufacturers, imported toys would still slip through the regulatory cracks given the CPSC's current capacity. Right now, there are only 15 staff people watching hundreds of ports of entry (down from a peak of 970 staff 27 years ago).
  • The fact of the matter is that the chemical regulatory system needs an overhaul. Around 80,000 chemicals are registered for use in everyday products and roughly 2,500 new ones are introduced every year. Few of these have been adequately tested for potential health impacts on children or developing fetuses despite their known unique vulnerability to these chemicals. And none have been tested for cumulative effects (i.e., how they may interact with one another), but that's how we are exposed to them every day.
" . . .Manufacturers are committed to safe, PVC-free toys including:
Brio, Chicco, Early Start, First Years, Ikea, Lamaze Infant Development, Lego, Little Tykes, Playmobil, Primetime Playthings, Ravensburger, Sassy and Tiny Love.
Toys "R" Us has begun phasing out PVCs in its own line of products and 
has announced that beginning in January 2009 all products sold in any Toys "R" Us or Babies "R" Us store in the United States must be produced without the addition of phthalates that have raised concerns about infant safety."

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