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'.

No comments: