22 August 2013

Toy safety: China made vs USA made

Our common perception tell us that China made = bad, USA made = safer. Lets see below quoted from HealthyStuff.org:
Are products made in the USA safer than those made in other countries?
HealthyStuff.org has not found a consistent correlation between the country of manufacture and the presence of toxic chemicals in products. A lot of our consumer products are produced outside of the U.S. For example, eighty percent of all toys purchased in the U.S. are made in China. Therefore, the majority of toys that we've previously tested were from China. HealthyStuff.org has not found a consistent correlation between the country of manufacture and the presence of toxic chemicals in toys. Twenty-one percent of toys from China and 16% of those from all other countries had detectable levels of lead in 2008. In 2008, 17 toys manufactured in the U.S. were sampled and 35% of those had detectable levels of lead. Seven toys (2%) had levels above 600 ppm. One of the highest lead levels detected (190,943 ppm) was on a Halloween Pumpkin Pin made in the USA. In addition, our tests of vehicles and car seats produced in the U.S. consistently show elevated levels of one or more hazardous chemicals. These levels of hazardous chemiclas in US manufactured products are comparable to similar products produced in Asia or Europe.
Most importantly, I think, is to find toy companies that committed to provide non-toxic safe toys.


21 August 2013

Toxic Toys

I do not remember having a lot of toys when I was small, but we bought a lot of toys for the kids. Our toys ranges from the few dollars cheap plastic toys to higher end toys that are made of organic wood and painted with soy based ink.

Ever since I become a homemaker taking care two kids, I read up a lot of health & safety articles and in particular: toys safety. I have heard about toys being recalled so I have been assuming that toys left on the shelf, especially those sold in big toys store, are safe.

It was then I read an article which provided a link to the HealthyStuff.org. HealthyStuff.org tested a wide range of children toys for some hazardous chemical with a portable X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyser and compiled a report. I was shocked by their finding that one in three children's toys tested by HealthyToys.org found to have significant levels of toxic chemicals including lead, flame retardants, and arsenic (I have no idea why those toys are not being recalled yet!). Half of my kids' toys ended up in the rubbish bin. Few companies that have been perform consistently well are LEGO, Plan Toys and Gund. Children jewellery was identified as the most contaminated product category.

This finding open my eyes to the bigger picture, if those hazardous chemical can be so easily found in children toys, how about all other stuff that adults are using such as necklace, earring, bag, purse, table cloth, chair, car seat, etc? I did a search and indeed as I have guessed, the hazardous chemical can be found too. As a parent I believe you will agree that the kids nowadays are no longer settled for their toys, they like to meddle with our stuff.  Changing all those things at once for a better non-toxic alternative may cost a fortune. We have to weigh the pro and cons of each product. For example, if it is just a toy, we can throw it (nothing more important than your child safety). However, if it does serve an important purpose and the cost of replacing it is too high to bear, then probably it can stay. 

A precaution to take will be to wash your kids' hands often, before meal and before sleep. No matter what you decide, there is no way (or unrealistically expensive) for us to be sure of everything we use are toxic free. After all, as quoted from someone, 'that is the cost of living in this modern society'.

10 August 2013

New blogger, more coverage

Dear readers, starting from August 2013, Gingybite from The Yummy Journey will contribute post on this blog. She will be covering topic such as safety and toxicity of everyday things with special emphasis on kids stuff. Despite of the increase coverage of topic, I will keep the blog title as it is.

06 August 2013

Cultured Beef

Vegan from PETA rejoice! Now you can eat beef without feeling guilty, because Maastricht University (funded by Sergey Brin of Google) have created cultured beef. The culture is grown from a cow's stem cell. The meat has been made into a burger patty, cooked and eaten. Anyone would like a $300,000 burger?