Are your child’s toys safe? Do you ever wonder whether or not your baby should chew on a plastic toy like a cute little ducky? Most of the toys we all have in the house are made of polyvinylchloride (PVC), which is a hard, brittle plastic. In order to make PVC softer, squishier, and squeezable, manufacturers add one or more of various phthalates. These phthalates are not chemically bound to the PVC molecules. They sit alongside them and easily leach out of the toys when sucked, chewed, or heated (left in the sun). Phthalates are toxic and can cause cancer, kidney and liver damage. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has determined that vinyl chloride is a known human carcinogen (Agency for Toxic Substances, 2007).

Restrictions or bans have been placed on phthalates in PVC toys in the entire European Union, Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Japan, Iceland Mexico, Norway, and Sweden. The US also took steps toward new regulations: In June, 2006, San Francisco became the first city in the U.S. to ban phthalates used in soft PVC children’s toys. In February 2009, new federal restrictions were introduce to children’s market, reducing use of lead and phthalates in consumer products intended for children 12 and under.( U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) News Release)

Despite this, phthalates are still commonly added to PVC used in children’s toys and baby products in the United States. 

Here is what you can do to protect you children and family from the dangerous toxin: Buy toys made of wood, metal, or cloth. Avoid toys made in China and from big manufacturers, be knowledgeable about labels and materials.  Choosing organic or recycled isn’t always the easiest or most cost effective way. Yet, doing the right thing isn’t always the easiest way either.

As a parent for me it was important to add an organic toys line to Tookee™. Our toys are made from hemp/organic cotton fabric, dyed with non toxic water based dyes and filled with natural Ingeo™ fiber.  Our toys are green and modern with a great sense of color.

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