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Web Letter

This article does a terrific job of laying out the dangers of phthalates in children’s toys. Over 90 percent of all phthalates are used to soften PVC plastic, the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective. If we’re going to talk about phthalates and toxic toys, we must examine the plastic used to make toys that causes substantial health and environmental problems from production to disposal.

Highly toxic chemicals, including dioxins and furans, vinyl chloride, lead, mercury,and phthalates, are used or released in the PVC lifecycle. Studies have documented links between working in PVC facilities and the increased likelihood of developing diseases including angiosarcoma of the liver, a rare form of liver cancer. PVC plants are often located in low-income communities and communities of color. PVC is particularly unique from most other plastics because it is chlorine-based, making it a major dioxin source during production and especially in disposal. It's a highly toxic group of chemicals that build up in the food chain and our bodies, and that can cause cancer and harm the immune and reproductive systems. Dioxins are so toxic they’re one of twelve chemicals that have been targeted for a global phase-out by an international treaty.

That’s why some of the biggest corporations are phasing out this poison plastic, including Wal-Mart, Microsoft Nike and Apple.

Sure, getting the phthalates out of toys is critically important, but it’s essential that we also address the lifecycle toxicity of the “rubber” duckies and other toys our kids are playing with.

Michael Schade

New York, NY

Oct 31 2007 - 3:05pm

Web Letter

Thank you for this article, I have been aware of the estrogenic, cancer-causing chemicals put into body care products, not to mention the crap they put into food. It is overwhelming to me that the corporate world has turned such a blind eye to the generations to come. I pray that we are at a tipping point for irresponsible capitalism, embodied by Monsanto, Dupont and Dow Chemical. Every new awareness will hopefully have ripples that wake people up to take action and to make informed decisions rather than feeding the beast blindly.

Jay Tubb

Wilmot, NH

Oct 30 2007 - 11:58pm