Healthytoys.org - Harmful Chemicals Found in Popular Toys
Lead, Arsenic, Other Harmful Chemicals Found in Popular Toys; Michigan-based Ecology Center Releases Testing Results and Consumer Action Guide at www.HealthyToys.org
Holiday Favorites, Including Hannah Montana & Circo, Contaminated with High Levels of Toxic Chemicals
The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, today released the results of their testing of 1,200 popular children's toys for toxic chemicals at HealthyToys.org. Working with environmental health groups across the country, the Ecology Center led the development of the site to inform consumers about products they will be purchasing this holiday season. Parents and other holiday shoppers can now easily search by product name, brand, or toy type to learn how the products rate in terms of harmful chemical content.
"The government is not testing for toxic chemicals in toys, and too many manufacturers are not self-regulating, so we created the nation's first toy database to help inform and empower consumers," said Tracey Easthope, MPH, Director of the Ecology Center's Environmental Health Project. "Ultimately consumers need to compel the federal government and toy manufacturers to eliminate dangerous chemicals from toys."
Researchers chose to test these particular chemicals because they have been identified by regulatory agencies as problematic, and because of their association with reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone problems and cancer and because they are found in children's products. Babies and young children are the most vulnerable since their brains and bodies are still developing and because they frequently put toys in their mouths. The testing was conducted with a screening technology - the X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer - which identifies elemental composition of materials on the surface of products.
"Toxic chemicals have no place in children's toys, period," said Ted Schettler, MD, Science Director at the Science and Environmental Health Network. "Even low-level toxic chemical exposures can have lifelong impacts. Getting toxic chemicals out of children's toys is a moral and medical imperative."
HealthyToys.org tested 1,200 children's products and more than 3,000 components of those products.
Following are highlights of the HealthyToys.org findings: