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Banning Phthalates in Toys

Banning Phthalates in Toys

Finally, lawmakers in D.C. are taking action against phthalates. It’s about time. At Care2 we’ve been issuing a clarion call against these toxic chemical plasticizers that are commonly used in children’s toys and have been banned for use in children’s toys in Europe since 1999. More than a dozen other countries have banned the chemical, as has California.

According to the Washington Post, federally funded research found that male babies born to women with high levels of phthalates in their blood exhibited changes related to low sperm count, undescended testicles and other reproductive problems. Other studies have connected some phthalates to liver and kidney cancer. Health experts argue that dangers may be more significant from cumulative exposure, because phthalates surround babies not only in toys and products but also in breast milk if the mother has been exposed to the chemicals.

Although it isn’t law yet, the House and the Senate have agreed to ban three types of phthalates from children’s toys as well as three other phthalates. Since U.S. companies make $1.4 billion worth of phthalates a year, you can imagine there was some serious lobbying going on against a ban; Exxon Mobile is a major manufacturer of phthalates. Not all that surprising to find that President Bush opposes the ban, but it is unclear whether or not he will veto the measure. The legislation would also ban lead in children’s products. It is stunning that this isn’t law already.

If you’d like to help, please sign this Consumers Union letter at the Care2 Petition site.

Read the complete Washington Post article here.

Read more: Babies, Children, Family, , , , ,

By Melissa Breyer, Senior Editor, Care2 Healthy and green Living

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
2:14PM PDT on Oct 25, 2012

Don't buy a DARN thing that says "Made in China" and I think you'll be fine!

12:31AM PST on Nov 14, 2010

Thanks for the article.

9:05AM PST on Mar 4, 2010

Great way to go America... next you might wake up about food colouring or synthetic additives in food??

12:00AM PST on Mar 3, 2010


7:19PM PST on Mar 1, 2010


7:19PM PST on Mar 1, 2010

interesting info

12:25AM PST on Mar 1, 2010


8:19PM PST on Jan 8, 2010


6:08PM PDT on Aug 6, 2008

I have already signed the petition and I strongly feel this important issue with the safety of our children and grandchildren, must be dealt with by our agencies and government to keep toxic and harmful material out of our products.

12:51PM PDT on Aug 6, 2008

I want someone to check those toys in kids meals at the fast food places!! They have so much odor, I'm sure they are UNhealthy. I keep telling my daughter to keep her children away from those places anyway, but everytime there is a toy in a room with me, I get rid of it - but uh-oh, is it recycleable?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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