One in Three Toys Founds to Have Toxic Chemicals
As the shopping days until Christmas are counted down and toys are being purchased, the Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, and partners across the country has released the 3rd Annual Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys. Sadly, one in three the toys tested contain harmful levels of lead, cadmium, arsenic, and other harmful chemicals.
Of the nearly 700 popular children's products were tested, 32% (one in three) contained one or more harmful chemical including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. Detectable lead levels were found in 18% (119 of 669) of the products tested, including the Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit, Dora the Explorer Activity Tote, and the Kids Poncho from Wal-Mart.
The researchers at HealthyStuff.org, who have tested more than 4,000 children's products over the past three years, did note that lead has been steadily decreasing in toys. The number of products with lead exceeding current federal standards for lead in toys (300 ppm) decreased by 2/3 (67%) since 2007.
Safe Toys are Possible - Many manufacturers are already doing it :two-thirds (68%) of the products tested in 2009 did not contain any lead, cadmium, arsenic, or mercury, including many made in China. These results show that manufacturers can make toys free of unnecessary toxic chemicals. 58% of children's products were made without PVC.
Parents and other family members buying toys for children are encouraged to go to HealthyStuff.org website. The website allows you to search for toys by product name, UPC code, product type, manufacturer, or retailer to easily find products that have No, Low, Medium, or High levels of toxic chemicals.
Babies and young children are the most vulnerable to toxic chemicals since their brains and bodies are still developing and because they commonly put toys into their mouths.
This week the U.S. Senate Environment & Public Works Committee will hear testimony from three key federal agencies about the need to reform the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) - the obsolete law passed in 1976 to regulate chemicals. To date, the EPA has required testing on only about 200 of the more than 80,000 chemicals that have been on the market since the law passed 33 years ago. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) and Representative Bobby Rush (D-IL) are expected to introduce a new bill soon to reform this outdated law.
"There is growing concern from an array of voices about our weak federal law being helpless to prevent human exposure to toxic chemicals on a daily basis," stated Andy Igrejas, Campaign Director of Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families. "The time is right to enact strong reform to our toxic chemical laws, so that we can better protect our health and our children."