Toy Chemicals That Aren't Supposed to Be There

Most kids, your own probably included, have toy chests full of plastic junk and discarded toys. Most of these toys are usually missing pieces, broken and have been sitting idle for a long time for lack of long-term interest. These toys are generally made from plastic injection molding in China and other countries using petroleum. As a result, there is a chance that these toys may contain BPA, fire retardants, toxic phthalates, and other chemicals that are neither environmentally friendly or safe.
Most toys are actually designed to break easily and end up in landfills at the end of their rather short lifespan despite all of their flashy advertising. You can never be too sure what the toys you bring home are made of these days with all of the safety recalls of toys made in China. As a parent, it is very important that any toy your child is playing with does not contain any health or safety hazards. Stay informed and make sure that you are aware of these chemicals that are not supposed to be in toys.
  • Lead
Experts agree that lead poisoning is a real issue. It can clearly hurt your children can even be fatal. Lead disrupts the chemistry in the brain, bones, and kidney, and it increases the chance of kidney failure and reduces mental capacity. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, children who manage to swallow a large amount of lead can develop severe stomach aches, brain damage, muscle weakness, and blood anemia.

There have been toys recalled by the CDC because of their high lead content. Because toys can be a significant hazard, young children should not be allowed to play with or even have lead toys. While simply holding a toy with lead for a few seconds may not have any toxic effects, swallowing a lead toy can be fatal.

There is really no way to guarantee that your children are safely exposed to lead, so don't let your kids play with them.
  • Phthalate
Phthalates can show up in toys for your babies such as pacifiers, teething rings, and flexible plastic toys. This chemical is often used to allow plastics to bend while also retaining its resiliency and strength. Phthalates can leach from finished plastic products when handled by young children, especially through sucking and chewing.

A few types of phthalates have affected the reproductive systems of laboratory animals and according to the CDC, the health effects of low levels of phthalates are currently unknown.

There is still controversy whether the effect of phthalates can cause suffering, but no one would argue that having high levels of phthalates in your urine and blood is a particularly good thing for people.
  • BPA
Bisphenol A or BPA can be found in many plastic injection molded toys from China, but it is perhaps best known for its presence in the lining in cans for canned goods and plastic bottles.

The BPA toxins from cups and bottles do find their way into the human body according to several studies. The CDC does confirm, however, that the extent of the effects of BPA on human health is still not known and that more research is needed.

BPA was once in the headlines when it was discovered in baby bottles and in 2008, it was found that BPA can imitate estrogen in the body.
  • Key Takeaway
When you see your children’s toys sitting on the shelf, there is no easy way to determine which products are made with toxic chemicals and which ones are not.

They cost the same and even look the same, so it is up to you as the parent to do your due diligence and find out exactly what these toys are made of.
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