Ever since plastic was invented in the late 19th century, plastic toys have been a giant hit with kids all around the world. Plastic made toys extra reasonably priced, which meant that even lower-income households may get a toy for his or her kids. However, plastic has made fairly a journey in terms of security. Unfortunately, that journey has not come to an finish.
These days, plastic is used for nearly every part you’ll be able to consider. It’s onerous to discover a toy that doesn’t have some plastic in it. However, plastic is a human-made materials and comprises lots of chemical compounds.
Toy Regulations in the United States of America
Plastics used to include lots of dangerous chemical compounds earlier than governments stepped in and began regulating the trade. However, it wouldn’t be till the 20th century that the United States had a toy regulation law. In the United States, the first national standard for toys was signed into law by President Richard Nixon in 1969.
This law didn’t specifically target plastic toys. It targeted all toys and dealt with more physical safety concerns, such as toys shattered easily or too sharp.
Finally, in 2008, The Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety was signed into law. This act stated that all toys must be tested and certified to meet the ASTM F963-17 standard. This standard banned many of the harmful chemicals in plastic.
Unfortunately, there are still many chemicals in plastic. You also have to be concerned that they could be different from country to country. That was the focus of the study done by researchers at the Technical University of Denmark in conjunction with researchers from the University of Michigan and the UN Environment. They found that some plastic toys may have over 100 dangerous chemical compounds in them.
Details of the Study
The outcomes of the analysis have been revealed in quantity 146 of Environmental International.
Researchers first famous that it’s troublesome to search out plastic toys’ chemical make-up since producers aren’t all the time required to listing them. Therefore they ended up utilizing knowledge from 25 peer-reviewed research. They grouped the toys into three normal plastic teams – onerous, gentle, and foam.
While they did estimate the publicity that western kids needed to these plastic toys, that was not the examine’s focus. The focus was particularly on what number of distinctive chemical compounds they discovered in these toys and what number of have been on regulatory lists of concern.
The lists that they used have been the European Toy Safety Directive 2009/48/EC, the European Candidate List of drugs of very excessive concern for Authorisation (SVHC), the CalSafer Candidate listing, and the California Proposition 65 listing. The numbers of chemical compounds that they discovered on these lists have been staggering.
The researchers discovered 419 completely different chemical compounds in 619 completely different chemical-material mixtures. They divided these chemical compounds into four groups:
- High-risk chemical compounds on the regulatory lists of issues from their research and different research
- High-risk chemical compounds not on the regulatory lists of issues however nonetheless are listed as a priority in their examine.
- Low-risk chemical compounds on the regulatory lists of issues
- Chemicals on the regulatory lists of issues that don’t have publicity/toxicity estimates
The listing ended up containing 126 chemical compounds of the 419 that they discovered in the toys. Out of that 126, they discovered 31 plasticizers, 18 flame retardants, and eight fragrances. Out of the 126 chemical compounds, 19 of them have been extraordinarily high-risk chemical compounds. Sixteen of those have been listed on the regulatory lists of issues.
Why These Chemicals are Being Used in Toys
The greatest drawback with these regulatory lists of concern is that there isn’t any one central, worldwide settlement about what is appropriate and never. Each nation has its plan. There are a number of chemical compounds which are apparent bans all over the place, however there may be nonetheless a plethora of different substances on that listing to contemplate.
Even worse, most of the chemical compounds haven’t been examined to see in the event that they hurt individuals. Without any conclusive knowledge, they continue to be off of virtually each listing.
Without a watchful eye (the federal government) regulating them, producers proceed to make use of chemical compounds which may be dangerous. It’s a widespread world situation that doesn’t get practically as a lot consideration because it ought to.
How You Can Protect Your Children
The greatest strategy to shield your kids from dangerous chemical compounds in plastic is to not purchase them plastic toys. However, that’s simpler stated than performed. There isn’t a big abundance of wood toys, the most well-liked toys that children need don’t come from wooden, and wooden toys are costly.
It’s not sensible to keep away from shopping for toys made of plastic in this day and age. Therefore, you’ll have to be a smart, informed parent when it comes to plastic. There are a few things about plastic that you should be aware of when you shop for toys. At the very least, you can make sure the plastic meets your country’s standards.
There has been an entire movement against Bisphenol A, higher generally known as BPA. More typically than not, when a product comprises plastic or is packaged in plastic, you’ll see it labeled as BPA-free. There is not any onerous legislation that claims producers can’t use it, however many producers are electing to bypass this chemical for good causes.
BPA is generally discovered in plastics which are used to retailer or bundle meals. This consists of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins.
Scientists and researchers have proven that BPA can have very adverse penalties on kids’s well being, particularly the brain of fetuses. However, the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed BPA as protected at low ranges. That’s why the substance isn’t banned. Luckily, many producers are taking the ban into their very own fingers by not utilizing it in their merchandise.
Unfortunately, not all producers label their BPA-free merchandise as such, so you continue to received’t know whether or not they have BPA until you see the recycling variety of the plastic. For most polycarbonate containers, the recycling number might be on the underside or someplace on the field. If it’s a 7, it most likely comprises BPA.
Not all containers marked as 7 are polycarbonate, so that you’ll must verify for yet another factor. If the field is labeled unbreakable or microwave-safe, it most likely has BPA. On the opposite hand, if the container is marked as 1, 2, or 4, it’s maybe BPA-free.
Switch to Wood Toys and Shatter-proof Glass Storage Containers
Earlier it was said that it’s not sensible to assume you’ll get away from all plastic merchandise. However, you’ll be able to reduce down on the quantity of plastic you will have in your own home. Some methods you are able to do that embody utilizing shatter-proof glass storage containers, changing some toys with wood toys, and shopping for issues constructed from natural cotton or hemp.
These supplies could also be of higher high quality anyway. Since they price a little bit greater than plastic, you’ll most likely want to increase your price range a little bit, however it’s higher than getting one thing that would potential make your little one sick.
Wait Until They’re Older to Give Them Plastic Toys
Contamination from most chemical compounds in plastic would occur resulting from ingestion over a size of time. This occurs very often as a result of younger kids put the toys in their mouths. This is a completely normal motion – it’s how infants discover the world round them. It shouldn’t be interrupted by contaminated plastic.
Older youngsters know higher than to place toys in their mouths (though there isn’t any assure they received’t do it anyway). Their immune techniques are additionally higher developed. Although the immune system can’t battle it out with a chemical, it would assist your little one battle the signs.
An ASTM International Label
If you’re in the United States, you’ll be checking your plastic towards the ASTM International requirements. If plastic is labeled with this, it doesn’t have any dangerous substances that the federal government has banned. Keep in thoughts that this doesn’t imply it’s BPA-free, however you’ll be able to not less than loosen up understanding that it is freed from the opposite stuff.
Final Thoughts on the Chemicals in Children’s Plastic Toys
This article wasn’t meant to scare you out of shopping for plastic toys. There are loads of toys constructed from plastic on the market that isn’t going to hurt your little one. Plus, in case your little one is sufficiently old to know to not put the toy in their mouth, they’ll be a lot much less prone to get contaminated.
Toys which are constructed from plastic match into everybody’s price range. They are colourful and enjoyable, and youngsters love them. There are much more constructive factors on toys constructed from plastic than adverse factors.
There hasn’t been a lot analysis into how a lot youngsters are being contaminated from toys fabricated from plastic, however proper now, the numbers are comparatively low. While the chance is down, you’ll be able to nonetheless decide to be a very good father or mother and heed the recommendation above. After all, low-risk or not, it by no means hurts to be extra protected than sorry.