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We recognize that parents have many concerns about the safety of plastics used in toys, particularly toys handled by infants and toddlers. Growing & developing children are particularly vulnerable to harmful chemicals that can leach out of plastics in products they feed from or chew on. While some authorities claim that the doses are too low to be harmful, we feel it's better to play it safe when there are safer alternatives available. At the very least we suggest being aware of the different types of plastics and the toxic chemical additives so that you can make safer product choices.
Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC)
PVC poses risk to both the environment and human health. PVC manufacturing has been known to create air and water pollution near the factories and workers experience elevated risks of health problems. Most notable is the emission of Dioxins into the air which is a known carcinogen. In most cases, PVC requires chemical additives & stabilizers to be useable. These additives contribute to the toxic nature of PVC. Chief among these are Phthalates, described below.
Phthalates are plasticizers added to PVC to make it soft. Exposure to phthalates has been linked to numerous health defects including birth defects and altered levels of reproductive hormones. Phthalates can be found in teethers, bibs, plastic raincoats, and other soft vinyl products, as well as scented baby products and toiletries. Children can ingest Phthalates when they chew on vinyl products, or inhale them from scented products. Fortunately, a new US law, effective January 1, 2009 prohibits phthalates in children's toys. Most of the products on this site, particularly the infant products are phthalate-free. For more information refer the Useful Links below.
BPA is a chemical component found in polycarbonate plastics, often used to make baby bottles, sippy cups, and toys. It is also used to line metal food containers including infant formula cans. BPA has been linked to numerous health problems including but limited to genetic defects, early onset of puberty, hormonal inbalances, altered immune function and more. We suggest avoiding products with BPA whenever possible. Most of the products on this site, and all of the infant products, are BPA-free. See the Useful Links below for more information.
CHOOSE SAFER PLASTICS:
Most plastic containers are labeled with number (1-7) within the recycling symbol.
THE SAFER CHOICES:
#1 (Polyethylene terephthalate ethylene)
#2 (High density polyethylene)
#4 (Low density polyethylene)
#3 (Polyvinyl chloride a.k.a PVC which can contain phthalates)
#7 (Other, usually polycarbonates which can contain BPA)
The Consumer Action Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys
includes detailed information about toxic chemicals and product selection
From the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Detailed information about different types of plastics both safe & unsafe.
Advocates for use of everyday products without toxic chemicals
Good health information on plastics and children's products
Guide to avoid Phthalates in baby products
Loads of useful tips and links to help you find Phthalate-free products.