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Toxic Toys

9 December 2009

When you are giving gifts this holiday season, consider the production impacts of that gift, especially if you are giving something to a child.  There is a lot of fossil fuel energy that goes into the production, shipping, and transportation of toys, as well as a lot of toxic chemicals. has tested over 700 toys and found that “one-third (32%) of toys tested in 2009 contain one or more of the hazardous chemicals lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic and bromine.”  Lead alone was in 18% of toys tested.  There are other nasty chemicals like chlorine  in 42% of toys tested because they are made out of PVC plastics.

Common brand name products like Route 66 Blue Jeans,an  iCarly bag, and the Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway were ranked at high levels of concern for containing toxic chemicals.  You can search the rankings for toys, and other products, by levels of toxicity or brand name on the website.

This holiday season, look for gifts that are free from toxic chemicals, minimally packaged without lots of plastic, and preferably have been made locally.  Or, save some gas and carbon dioxide pollution and make your own gifts from home.

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