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Chelsea Green Blog

Toxins in toys … scared yet?

Hey, when you’re on a roll, you’re on a roll. You just can’t seem to click on your mouse without finding more evidence that parents are taking seriously the role of scrutinizing what’s in the products their kids play with. Shocking, I know. Remember the good old days? Lead paint on your metal toy? Hanging out the back of the station wagon? Good times, good times.

Around the country, parents and advocates are getting together to screen their toys for  toxins. A recent example occurred in Norwalk, Connecticut, a state where lawmakers are hoping to pass House Bill 5601, An Act Banning Children’s Products Containing Lead, Phthalates or Bisphenol-A.

And, who says Californians get to have all the fun banning these chemicals from toys.

Here’s a story on an event as reported in the Stamford Advocate.

NORWALK – The handheld device resembled a price scanner, but after it zapped his son’s Fisher Price roller vacuum toy, sticker shock wasn’t what upset state Sen. Bob Duff.

The device, an X-ray fluorescence analyzer, discovered 200 parts per million of lead, far more than the 40 parts per million that pediatricians consider acceptable on toys.

Worse than that, the toy’s paint contained 250 parts per million of mercury, said Damian Fox, who conducted the tests.

“There should be zero mercury,” said Fox, who owns Glastonbury-based Aremytoyssafe.com, a service that tests chemical levels in toys and other items.

“This is going into the garbage,” said Duff, D-Norwalk. “Actually, it’s going in on household hazardous waste day.”


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