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.
New York, NY
Oct 31 2007 - 3:05pm