2008/11/21

An interesting article by The Soft Landing:

Get Your Phthalates Cheap for Christmas at a Store Near You Fire Sale on Toxic Toys
Your friendly neighborhood retailer wants you to stock up now so they won’t have to suffer so darn much under the burden of the recent phthalate ban. The CPSC has given them one last chance for a reprieve by extending the ban implementation deadline. Fantastic - now they can unload those toxic toys on unsuspecting parents looking for a great deal on Christmas presents during these tough economic times.

The Squeaky Wheel
As my Grandpa always said, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil.” Toy makers are complaining that it’s nearly impossible to know which products contain phthalates, so they would have to spends $1,000’s in testing the toys on their shelves. Why, sometimes they don’t even know what materials are used in their products because they aren’t labeled (insert high-pitched whining inflection here). That’s kinda the point here - label this stuff already!
USA Today reveals how this sneaky change is taking place:
… legal counsel at the Consumer Product Safety Commission says that the phthalate ban doesn’t necessarily apply to toys made before Feb. 10. In a letter written Monday, the commission’s general counsel says the law lacks a “clear statement of unambiguous intent.”
Retailers and manufacturers may sell off their existing inventory of dolls, sippy cups and other children’s products, according to the letter from the commission’s general counsel, Cheryl Falvey. Neither stores nor toymakers are obligated to label which products meet the new standards and which don’t.

And the squeaking continues . . .
The Washington Post points out that chemical companies such as ExxonMobil, which manufactures the phthalate most often found in toys, have also argued that banning the compounds could force toymakers to use substitutes that pose greater risks. The article goes on to note that several alternative chemicals used to make toys for the European market have been found to be safer than phthalates. The chemical makers are also complaining that the safer alternatives are not as cheap or versatile as phthalates. Are you kidding? I think the health of our children is slightly more important than your deep pockets.

Tips for Safe Christmas Shopping
So how will you be able to tell which products are safe? You won’t. We recommend you handle shopping this year by following these tips:
Avoid soft, squeezable plastic teethers, rattles, duckies, plastic books and other toys. Wait to buy these items until the ban actually takes effect on Feb. 10, 2009.
Only purchase products specifically labeled as phthalate-free, or better yet, as PVC-free. Remember when we talked about how PVC Free = Phthalate Free? Just don’t forget that it doesn’t work the other way around: phthalate-free does NOT mean PVC-free.
Go with USA Today’s recommendation and buy from responsible retailers who do their homework, like The Soft Landing

1 comment:

Alicia @ The Soft Landing said...

Thank you so much for the link love!

Here's hoping we can help parents avoid those darn toxic toys this Christmas . . .

Alicia