Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Safe Plastic Toys

This holiday shopping season, parents not only need to buy educational toys for their children, but ones that aren’t possibly poisonous. One material on the radar screen is a type of plastic called polyvinyl chloride, or PVC.
PVC is made mostly from chlorine, which is derived from a solution of common salt and water. But concerns have been raised about the phthalates added to PVC to make it more flexible and resilient. These phthalates, or plasticizers, have a low molecular weight, which causes them to leach from the product. Research has shown these plasticizers act as endocrine disrupters.

In January 2006, the European Union placed a ban on six types of phthalate softeners in some children’s toys. And in the U.S., President Bush signed a bill on August 14 banning the use of six types of phthalates in children’s products. Vinyl manufacturers are currently testing safer alternatives to phthalates.
In the meantime, it’s best to avoid children’s toys and baby care products made with PVC. Look for the #3 on the bottom of an item to see if it’s made with PVC. Here are three web sites that provide toy buying advice:

The Center for Health, Environment and Justice at
The Ecology Center at
The Consumer Product Safety Commission at

Click here for more Thrifty Green Thursday Tips.


Wayfaring Wanderer said...

Great advice for those with kiddies!

"President Bush signed a bill on August 14 banning the use of six types of phthalates in children’s products." But, what about the mountains! haha Ok, I'll stop.

Cody did today's TGT post about our new in-home composter!!

MaryAnn Ashley said...

It seems like the EU is ahead of us on so many safety issues like this one. I think that one day we will be shocked that baby bottles were made of plastic.

Joy said...

Thanks so much for the tips! It's amazing that we haven't done more sooner to inform people about PVC toxins in this country. Still, I'm glad we're finally getting the word out. I'm very partial to wooden toys but it's tough to find everything in wood. I appreciate the link to the website! We're grateful that you're a part of our Thrifty Green Thursday this week!

EatPlayLove said...

yes and replace your PVC shower curtains with a polyester washable version, ASAP!

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the links. I tend to just avoid plastic as much as possible, but every once in a while I do want something plastic, and I'm always forgetting which ones are good and which ones are bad.

Also, it's interesting how many people don't really believe that plastics can be dangerous. I mean, maybe they're not, but if there is a chance that they ARE, why risk it when there are alternatives.

the mama bird diaries said...

thanks for the great resources!

rainbowmummy said...

Thanks for this and for the links. My biggest concern is batteries. I had a TWO WEEK OLD REMOTE WHICH HAD BRAND NEW BATTERIES IN IT and they leaked. Scared the hell out of me.