Where real moms tell it like it is.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Toxic Toyz

There's probably a gazillion toys sporting buttons and bows and projectiles that can choke, strangle, or put a kid's eye out.

What I consider much more insidious are toys made from toxic substances. Case in point: Polyvinyl Chloride. Also known as PVC or vinyl. You know, that new car smell. Think floppy bath tub books and Barbie's camper van. Think teething toys.

What is known?
It is generally agreed by all researchers that phthalates are given off freely by PVC. This is caused by mechanical stress (bending, pressure, chewing), solvents such as fats, oils, saliva... and temperatures over 85° F, which causes it to migrate in gas form.

BTW, pthalates accumulate in body tissues, and can damage liver, lungs, and have been shown in lower mammals to damage reproductive organs. PVC can also include lead, although it is hard to tell which PVC toys contain lead and which do not. Furthermore, it's hard to tell by looking which plastic products are made of PVC. And "there is tendency of manufacturers to resist efforts to obtain this information."

A lot of lip service is given to our "free market" and how great it is for consumers. The competition! The innovation! But how free is our marketplace, really, when the consumer doesn't know what she is buying? When toy companies are not required to disclose what their toys are made of? Do the best products and companies really come out on top? Does the consumer really win when her baby is gnawing on a PVC ring?


At Thursday, November 17, 2005 7:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen, sister!


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