Toxic Toys: Tips on How to Recognize and Avoid Them

Within the European Union, all toys are checked. But beware, the label ‘That’, even if it means that the toy complies with safety requirements stringent and specific, fixed at European level, is affixed by the manufacturer itself. With the recent product recalls, multiple checks and labels is no longer in effect. At the time of purchase, you must be vigilant to the different offers. Our tips to learn how to recognize and avoid the toxic toys.

Toxic toys: before you buy, know the harmful products
Toxic toys: when buying, adopt the right moves
Toxic toys: what labels to trust?
Toxic toys: to go further
Toxic Toys: Before You Buy, Know the Harmful Products

What are the chemicals likely to be present in your children’s toys? Memo:

-Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastic, they are very present in the inflatable toys. Harmful to the reproductive system of the child, phthalates are partly banned by the European Union in products intended for children under three years, since 1999. Therefore, it is important to focus on toys manufactured in Europe.

-The Bisphenol A (BPA): Hormone disruptor bisphenol regularly pays the Chronicle, including through its use in certain food plastics. It would be more present in toys in polycarbonate.

-Heavy metal : lead, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc. are also called toxic heavy metals. They can be responsible for diseases of the type encephalopathies, anemia and lead poisoning and are present in some paintings including.

-The formaldehyde or formalin lies in the varnish of the wooden toys. It is a carcinogenic organic compound.

-Synthetic fragrances : used to mask the smell of all these substances and/or used for educational purposes and to develop the sense of children, the fragrances are allergen. They can be the cause of fevers,asthma and dermatitis.

Toxic Toys: When Buying, Adopt the Right Moves

According to environmental security associations (and including WECF, Women in Europe for a Common Future), several precautions are to be taken when buying a toy to avoid toxicity:

– Prefer natural materials (organic cotton, raw wood, natural paint, etc.)
– Avoid the PVC (contains chlorine and phthalates) and the plywood (contains formaldehyde)
-Make sure the toys are resistant to sweat and saliva.
– Avoid scented toys (most of the time synthesis perfume)
-Choose the quality rather than the quantity.
– Let the new toys to aerate before using to remove solvents. And wash the new plushies.
-Test the toy yourself to ensure that parts do not come off and that they cannot be swallowed.

For the comfort and safety, CLE (French Federation of toy care industries) advocates before the purchase of:

-Compare, for a single article, which is available in stores and catalogs. If they exist, see comparative tests conducted by consumer organisations.
-Do not buy a childcare only article based on aesthetics (color…).
-Ask the seller: for some articles, ask for a demonstration.
-Check that the manual is well written in french.
Learn more:

– Visit Project Nesting
– Check out all the shopping tips and use toys on the site of the CLE.

Toxic Toys: What Labels to Trust?

You should know that the evaluation of labels and certifications criteria are not all sufficiently strict, better is worth to rely on labels issued by independent bodies. Here are some examples:

For green toys:
-NF environment: Founded in 1991, NF Environnement is the French official green certification. (Learn more about www.marque-nf.com)

For wooden toys:
-FSC is an ecolabel, which ensures that the production of wood-based product has complied with procedures intended to ensure the sustainable management of forests (learn more about www.fsc-france.fr )

For the overall quality:
-Spiel Gut is a German label that makes test toys by a group of educators, psychologists, doctors, technicians… and parents. He reserves his logo for the best toys on the market. (More information on www.spielgut.org)
-Oko test is a German consumer magazine, which tests the consumer products. It’s more a guarantee of quality of the respect for the environment than a label.

For safety:
-Verified security attributes his label to products that meet the technical safety rules. (Learn more about www.lne.fr)

For the textile industry:
-Oeko Tex textile trust controls the harmful substances in textiles. (Learn more about www.oeko-tex.com )

Toxic Toys: to Go Further

The RAPEX website
Because the toy is 30 percent of product recalls, the RAPEX website list each week products at risk. This European alert program prevents the sale of harmful items in all areas except food, pharmaceutical and medical.
Discover all the reminders products on magicmaman

The WECF toys guide: Women in Europe for a Common Future is an association that is now a network of 100 organizations. Among its many goals, this association works for the elimination of dangerous chemicals of all consumer products. The association has published a guide of toys in order to advise parents on their different purchases: dolls, stuffed animals, wooden, plastic, drawing toys, paints and cosmetics. Download the WESC toys guide

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