As consumers, we assume that the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is doing their job testing products and ensuring our children’s safety. Unfortunately, the task is larger than the organization can handle, and toxic, dangerous toys, mostly manufactured cheaply in foreign countries, riddle the store shelves. As parents and grandparents hunt for bargains, unbeknownst to them they are exposing their children to toxic heavy metals like lead and cadmium, choking hazards, such as magnets, and toxic plastic chemicals like phthalates.
For the 27th year, U.S. PIRG has released Trouble in Toyland.
Key findings from the report include:
- Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. We found toys which contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead content above the 100 parts per million limit.
- Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under three, we found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards.
- We also found toys that are potentially harmful to children’s ears and exceed the noise standards recommended by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
- We discovered small powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed.
No one wants to buy expensive jewelry for their children, as they may lose or break these pieces; however, cheap jewelry can “contain dangerous levels of cancer-causing toxic chemicals”. We are NOT talking about the super cheap jewelry here that comes out of a machine, but jewelry found in major retailers.
Time Healthland reports:
The Ecology Center and Healthystuff.org report that 59% of low-cost jewelry sold at stores like Walmart, Kohl’s, Forever 21, H&M, Hot Topic and Target, contained one or more chemicals considered by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to be a hazard to human health at high levels.
I despise battery-operated toys for their loudness and need of constant recharge. In addition to the annoyance of these toys, there may be another reason to ban them from your home:
Children in rural China are falling ill from toxic fumes emitted from the Borui Battery Company’s plant.
On February 15, 2008, toy giant Toys “R” Us promised consumers it would phase out toys with dangerous chemicals.
REDUCTION OF PHTHALATES AND POLYVINYL CHLORIDE (PVC) USE:
- All manufacturers have been notified that by the end of 2008 juvenile 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.
- Additionally, as we move closer to our goal of offering PVC-free products, we have already begun replacing PVC and phthalates in juvenile products manufactured exclusively for Toys”R”Us, Inc.
Unfortunately, they have not kept their promise.
With the holiday shopping season about to begin in earnest, and all of the over-consumerism it represents, we are once again cautioned by the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) that many toys are not safe.
Trouble in Toyland: The 25th Annual Survey of Toy Safety has just been released.
In researching the report, we visited numerous national chain toy stores and other retailers in September and October 2010 to identify potentially dangerous toys. We analyzed CPSC notices of recalls and other regulatory actions to identify trends in toy safety. This year, we focused our investigation on hazards from toys and other children’s products that contain the toxic chemicals lead and phthalates, and other metals restricted by the CPSIA.
The FDA’s goal of making the world safe for Big Pharma is made obvious by their attack on a product for which the possibility of harm is so far-fetched that it’s laughable: Hyland’s Homeopathic Teething Tablets. Well, it would be laughable if it weren’t for the fact that an exceptionally safe product that’s been used by thousands to ease their children’s teething pains is now gone…
In its attack on Hyland’s, the FDA clearly stated:
The FDA has not evaluated Hyland’s Teething Tablets for safety or efficacy.
So, without any proof of any sort—not even an attempt to find any proof—the FDA decided that Hyland’s Teething Tablets should be banned. They don’t even provide any estimate as to the amount of the product that would have to be ingested to cause harm. That, of course, is because they don’t care….
The FDA’s first method is intimidation. In the case of Hyland’s Teething Tablets, they simply issue a warning to the public. They claimed that the product contains a “potentially toxic” agent, implied, without evidence, that it has caused harm to children, and claimed that an inspection showed “substandard control of the manufacturing operation”, though they don’t say what was wrong.
Editor’s note: Kristen of Cool Mom Picks and Motherhood Uncensored has written for us on many occasions. We are extremely happy she had a home birth, but too bad she had to travel in an ambulance and spend an extra day in the hospital as a result, missing out on all the relaxing benefits of a home birth. You can read her own version of the story on Motherhood Uncensored, which has been made famous by her twitter stream after the birth.
There are so many wonderful eco-friendly family websites, many of which are in our blogroll. I’d like to start a new series in which I highlight what my peers are writing across the web. Obviously, I don’t have time to write about every issue and topic on green parenting, and I want to share with our readers the amazing content these moms and dads are writing. Here are five great excerpts of posts I’ve encountered this week, including action items. Just click the titles to come to the original full posts on their home websites.
Popular at birthday parties and fairs, inflatable bounce houses allow kids to jump and play to their hearts’ content. I’ve always been concerned about the energy use and hearing damage caused by the blowers on these jump houses, but the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) and the California Attorney General have found that they also “pose lead hazard to children”.