Toy shopping? First check the toxin levels...
In case you don't have enough to worry about as you shop for holiday
toys for your kids, you should know that many toys on the shelves of
mainstream retailers contain high levels of known toxins like lead, cadmium, chlorine, arsenic, bromine and mercury.
But, you ask, doesn't my government regulate this? Don't they recall dangerous toys?
Well, not so much. Remember the politicians who have been wined and dined by
corporate and industry lobbyists, who gave out big corporate tax breaks
and who deregulated willy-nilly without establishing any kind of
They oversaw the toy industry with the same degree of
insouciant negligence with which they overlooked sub-prime lending,
global warming, and junk bonds.
Find out about the toys on your list
You can read more about toxins in our kids' toys through the links at the
end of this post. But for right here and right now, you can find out
about the safety of particular toys using the search HealthyToys.org's database. Visit their website, install the HealthyToys.org search widget on your website or blog, and try out MomsRising.org's mobile interface.
Use your cell phone to text healthytoys [toy name] (e.g. "healthytoys Elmo") to 41411.
MomsRising.org and HealthyToys.org will reply with search results.
Help inform other parents!
Print this flyer and post it at school, at work, and at the grocery store, so other parents can shop chemical-safe, too.
Read more about Toy Safety
government doesn't require full testing of chemicals before they are
added to most consumer products, including children's toys, according
to HealthyToys.com. And once
they are on the market, the government almost never restricts their
use, even in the face of new scientific evidence suggesting a health
If you the gory details, you can consult the stunning 2005 study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), which found, for example, that
- EPA has used its authority to require testing for fewer than 200 of the 62,000 chemicals in commerce since 1979;
- For existing chemicals, only 5 chemical groups out of 62,000 have been restricted by EPA in 29 years.
Toxic toys in the press this week
- Reuters: US consumer commission sued over chemicals in toys
- U.S. Public Interest Research Group: Trouble In Toyland: The 23rd Annual Survey of Toy Safety
- Detroit News: Some toys have toxic chemicals
- U.S. News: Safety First for Holiday Toys