The non-profit Ecology Center released the 3rd Annual Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys at HealthyStuff.org just in time for this 2009 holiday shopping season. There were almost 700 children's products and toys tested for lead, cadmium, arsenic, PVC, and other harmful chemicals to help parents and other consumers make educated and safe purchases for their children.
Over the last few years, the lead levels in toys have decreased. HealthyStuff.org has tested over 4000 products an has seen a 67% decrease in the number of products that exceed the federal safety levels. Unfortunately, one in three of all toys tested in 2009 still contained one or more harmful chemical including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury.
The findings can make parents worry that the products that their children are hoping for may be unsafe. Lead was still found in the Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit, Dora the Explorer Activity Tote, and the Kids Poncho from WalMart.
PVC was still found in over 40% of the products tested. PVC levels have remained constant of the last 3 years of testing. PVC is the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective because it creates major hazards in its manufacture, product life, and disposal and can contain additives that are dangerous to human health. Lead, cadmium and other heavy metals are also commonly added to PVC products.
The 2009 Products on HealthyStuff.org
HealthyStuff.org tests products including toys, baby gear, clothing, and other items that families are purchasing every day. The website's findings have been organized so that consumers can look products up by UPC code and the name of the product.
The chemicals that products are being tested for include lead, arsenic, mercury, cadmium, PVC, and bromine. The results are categorized by No Detected Chemicals, Low Concern, Medium Concern, and High Concern.
Parents can easily access the results online at HealthyStuff.org and on facebook. Consumers can add the HealthyStuff.org application to their profile on facebook by visiting apps.facebook.com/healthystuff.
Information on Toys 2009