Some parents may be hesitant to let their children play with plastic toys because of the presence of potentially harmful chemicals. There are undoubtedly many toys available that contain chemicals known to be hazardous to children, but there are also many toys that are thought to be safe.
There have been several articles and initiatives recently aimed at getting PVC out of toys, however many plastic toys still contain it. Pencil cases, medical tubing toys, teething rings, and Barbie dolls are all examples.
The immune system, liver, and central nervous system are all vulnerable to the hazardous compounds included in many of these toys. They may also seep into the child's body via the plastic. Moreover, they pose a threat to other kids, which is just the frosting on the cake.
Several researchers worry that exposure to phthalates, which are used to make PVC more malleable, can be detrimental to humans. Asthma, liver abnormalities, and renal disorders are only some of the diseases that have been associated with them. In addition to being hormone disruptors, they may potentially raise cancer risk.
A child's safety and health may be ensured by carefully selecting plastic toys. Toys made of plastic are often brightly colored and come in unique designs. Yet, they can also pose a choking hazard if handled improperly. To avoid this, opt instead for toys made from natural materials like wood, rubber, or cotton.
One of the most secure polymers is polypropylene. It can withstand high temperatures and has been given the green light for use in food preparation. Items like yogurt cups, dishes that can go in the washing, and infant bottles are all made of polypropylene.
Polypropylene is another material that works well as a food container. It can withstand high temperatures and humidity without breaking down or releasing any harmful compounds into the meal.
The amount of lead found in children's plastic toys has been the subject of a number of investigations. The addition of lead to plastic reduces its hardness and increases its durability. It also serves as a leveler.
Many countries' toy markets have been plagued by the discovery of lead and lead compounds. Lead is a neurotoxic, and even brief exposure can have serious consequences for children. It has been linked to increased exercise and hearing loss. Lead exposure has also been related to intellectual impairment.
Some toys' paints contain lead as well. In the 1970s, lead paints were outlawed in the United States. The use of lead in gasoline was outlawed by Congress in the 1980s.
Children may be exposed to harmful levels of these chemicals if they play with plastic toys that contain flame retardants. Toxins can enter the body by inhalation or skin contact. Hormones, brain development, and the reproductive system are all negatively affected by them. For health and safety concerns, these compounds should be used sparingly. Furthermore, the use of these chemicals in toys is controlled in a number of nations, albeit not all flame retardants used in plastic toys fall within the purview of these laws.
Polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) are a kind of flame retardant commonly used in plastic toys. Children's IQs, attention spans, and memories have all been shown to suffer when these substances are present. They are also present in recycled plastics that are used to make toys for kids.
The European Union recommended earlier this year that formaldehyde be added to the list of substances banned in children's toys. The new regulation, which was released on November 20 of this year, modifies a particular part of the EU framework legislation. The new regulations establish fixed threshold levels for the presence of formaldehyde and other toxins in children's playthings.
Formaldehyde is a monomer used in the production of polymers. Leather, soap bubbles, felt-tip pen ink, and resin-bound wood goods all include it. Even plastic toys contain formaldehyde.
Directive 2009/48/EC, the EU framework regulation governing toy safety, specifies formaldehyde limit levels. Toys marketed to children younger than 36 months old must adhere to the limits established in Appendix C of the regulation.
Several common plastic toys and goods contain the flame retardant PBDEs. Toys, computer cases, and TV and stereo cases all feature them. While they are no longer permitted in brand-new electronic devices, they are still present in certain recycled plastic goods. These substances may pose health risks. Lead and volatile chemical compounds, which can affect hormones and cause cancer, are common contaminants. When plastics break down, they might also release these chemicals.
It is well established that PBDEs slow children's growth and development. Hormones that are necessary for brain development may be disrupted. They may also contribute to restlessness and erratic behavior. Motor coordination issues and difficulties understanding speech are other possible side effects.