A little over a year and a half ago, when I started hearing about all of the lead recalls from China, I started a China ban in our house. No toys or anything Ella would put in her mouth could be bought from China. I knew nothing about plastics and what they could do to her health, so I thought I could trust USA made items... which I later learned was not true. Last year when Health Canada released their info that BPA is toxic to human health, I started to research what is in our children's products. Here is what I found about plastics that are commonly used for making toys:
BPA: A chemical building block used to make polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins. Studies have linked BPA to hormone disruption, increased breast and prostate cancer cell growth, and early onset puberty, and obesity.
PVC: A strong plastic polymer that can be made flexible through the use of plasticizers. Our bodies are contaminated with poisonous chemicals released during the PVC life cycle, such as mercury, dioxins, and phthalates, which may pose irreversible life-long health threats. When produced, burned, or heated PVC plastic releases dioxins, a group of the most potent synthetic chemicals ever tested, which can cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems.
Phthalates: A group of chemicals used as plasticisers in PVC plastics that are known to be testicular toxins and can disrupt hormones, damage the kidneys, liver and cause asthma.
For a quick guide to know what to stay away from when buying any plastic product, use the recycle code on the bottom of the product. There are seven classes of plastics used in packaging. Type 7 is the "other" class, and some type 7 plastics, such as polycarbonate (sometimes identified with the letters "PC" near the recycling symbol) and epoxy resins, are made from BPA.
Type 3 (PVC) can also contain bisphenol A as antioxidant in plasticizers.
Types 1 (PET), 2 (HDPE), 4 (LDPE), 5 (polypropylene), and 6 (polystyrene) do not use bisphenol A during polymerization or package forming and can all be recycled.
Since BPA, PVC and Phthalates can leach toxins, it's especially important to pay attention to toys that will go into children's mouths and bath toys. When these toxic plastics are put in higher temperatures the chance they will leach out is much higher. In December of 2008, a report was done by a non-profit group, NPR, which showed that infant books and bath toys scored poorly when testing for lead, arsenic, and other chemicals. They also found that 1/3 of the toys tested contained harmful chemicals! If you want to see if your child's toy has been tested, you can visit http://www.healthytoys.org
Whew- that was a mouthful. Luckily, there are companies like The Soft Landing that sell products that are BPA, PVC and Phthalate free! Alicia Voorhies, owner of The Soft Landing, was a RN before she had her 3 babies. During her time at home, she went in the pursuit of finding non-toxic plastics in which led to the creation of The Soft Landing. She carries safe plastic bibs, feeding gear, bath toys, baby items and much more!
After dumping all of our old bath toys, I had to search for safe alternative plastics which wasn't an easy task. Luckily we found The Soft Landing and they sent us a few to review. Ella now enjoys bath time more than ever! She really has loved playing with their Sassy Count 'N Spell Bath Appliques. She is learning the alphabet and what sounds they make, so these have really come in handy! They are great for spelling small words and easily stick on the walls. You can get them at The Soft Landing for only $6.40!
Since this is the Best Eco-friendly Toy Week I had to throw in some bath toys for you to win or get a great deal on!
The Discount: You can make any purchase from The Soft Landing and get 10% off by entering the coupon code mkokopelli10 at the checkout.
The Giveaway: The Soft Landing is giving away one of their Bath Toy Samplers which includes:
How to Enter: Go to The Soft Landing and tell me something you like. Click on "Comments" to leave your post. Make sure to leave your email address!! I cannot contact the winner without it!
EXTRA Entries: You must complete the "How To Enter" before making any extra entries. Make sure you leave a comment for each extra entry and tell me which one.
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