Toxic Toys

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The Michigan Capitol recently hosted a “toy testing” event.  The goal of the event was to help parents learn about the possibility of dangerous toxins in their children’s toys while gaining support for a new bill that is making it’s way through the state senate.  The bill, originally sponsored by Senator Rebekah Warren will require toy companies to list the compounds found in their products with the hope that more companies will stop the use of dangerous products.

Compounds that have been found to be dangerous include mercury, lead, bromine and arsenic.  Although the effects of digesting these substances can not be seen early on, they can lead to slow brain development, lowered IQ’s and fertility problems later in life.  Children are especially susceptible to these effects because their brain’s are still in the developmental stages of growth.

The Ecology Center has teamed together with Senator Warren in effort to bring attention to the possible dangers of toxic toys.  The recommended limit for these compounds in any product is only 100 parts per million.  Many of the toys tested came in at over 1,000 parts per million. X-ray Fluorescence or XRF technology is used to measure the amounts of these toxins. The only completely safe products seemed to be most stuffed animals.  We had our own camera equipment tested and it contained less heavy metals than a children’s sippy cup!

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