“7 Toys you gotta have?” I don’t think so.

by Nick

What plastic are these made from? I have no idea.

What plastic are these made from? I have no idea.

CNN Money has a feature today showing what it claims to be 7 hot toys for the coming holiday season.

For myself, most of them look like they are simply variations on the theme of the latest cute monster.

Also notable is the fact that they are all made of plastic.

Which plastics are used in their manufacture? Hard to say, as toys typically don’t have a recycling number on them. Remember, companies use the recycling number on items that are easily and commonly recycled, like plastic bottles.

But toys may include more than one type of plastic, which makes them unsuitable for simple recycling.

That apart, the toxic chemicals like BPA and phthalates, which we watch for in our kitchen plastics, may not be your biggest concern when it comes to toys.

That said, soft, squeezable toys may be made with PVC, which does contain phthalates.

* Phthalates are endocrine disruptors, and can upset normal hormonal balance in our bodies and may stimulate the growth and development of cancers (breast, uterine, prostate), impair fertility, and disrupt pregnancy.

In addition to the presence of phthalates, many PVCs also contain heavy metals like lead and cadmium, both of which are also highly toxic. Lead and cadmium have also been found in other plastics, and in the paints used to decorate plastic toys.

* Lead causes damage to the nervous system, leading to decreased learning ability and behavioral deficits. Children are especially susceptible because they absorb and retain lead more easily than adults and also because their brains are still developing.

* Cadmium is known to produce cancer and in animal tests causes kidney damage. It can also affect the developing brain.

Put simply, I’m not a big fan of media sites like CNN Money giving free publicity to plastic toys.

We don’t know what chemicals are used by their manufacturers. Often we can’t find out even if we try. But we suspect they will include some chemicals we would rather our children didn’t handle or chew on.

This year, perhaps we should work a little harder to choose toys and gifts that don’t have so much potential to harm our children.

Read the full article at CNN Money here...

Note: Photo of the Annoying Orange courtesy of the CNN Money website. We have no idea what plastic is used to make this particular toy, and do not mean to imply that it is made from a potentially toxic plastic. It’s just that we don’t know.

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