The magic of Christmas is giving to others. But can you imagine giving someone you love a toxic gift that could potentially kill them over time? Thankfully, the World Against Toys Causing Harm organization (W.A.T.C.H.), and the US Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) released their lists of the most dangerous toys for 2016, and some may surprise you.
Don’t Deck Your Halls with These Deadly Toys
- Peppa Pig’s Muddy Puddles Family – Target and Amazon are selling this popular children’s show character figurines, but each package contains small parts that aren’t identified on the packaging, even though it has a 3+ year old age recommendation.
- Banzai Bump N’ Bounce Body Bumpers – Nearly all the major retailers are stocking this product on their shelves. Participants wear inflatable “bumpers” that allow them to run into other players and bounce off. No matter the age, the potential for serious injury is pretty high and even though manufacturers recommend head protection, none is provided with the product.
- Galloping Butch – This Disney character is a battery-operated dinosaur that can “bite, roar and gallop” exposing small children to it’s sharp plastic teeth and tail which puts them at risk for puncture wounds.
- Baby Magic – This baby doll toy has an age recommendation of 2+, but it comes with small parts that could easily be swallowed by a child.
- WarCraft Doom Hammer – This “hammer” is actually a rigid plastic toy replica from a popular online video game, but it still has sharp edges and has the potential for blunt impact injuries.
Oregon’s New Toxic-Free Kids Law Taking Shape
Oregon heath officials and lawmakers have partnered to draft a bill that has your family’s safety as a priority. The bill, named the “Toxic-Free Kids Act,” was signed into action in the summer of 2015, and will finally be a law when January 1, 2017 rolls around.
As a result of the new law, the state of Oregon has begun the painstaking process of generating a precise list of high priority chemicals of concern (HPCC) for children’s products. Populating the list is the longest task that the state has ahead of them; it will take input from nearly every public and private health organization to compile the list, ensuring that all dangerous chemicals are identified and flagged for removal.
Any product marketed toward children under the age of 12 is eligible for inclusion on the high priority list. But the first list isn’t due to be revealed until early 2018. It may seem too far away before tangible action is taken on the toxic chemicals front, but experts are working overtime to include any potentially harmful product for toxic testing. As of right now the tests are mostly focused on industrial, commercial and household items, but expect increased scrutiny of food-related products in the near future.
If you don’t feel comfortable waiting to have your questions answered, we’ve compiled a small list of chemicals and substances that we expect to be phased out in the near future.
Check Your Home for These Potentially Toxic Products
- Toxic flame retardants – Commonly found in home insulation and some electronics
- Phthalates – Used in a wide array of consumer products to make plastic more flexible and harder to break, especially in PVC pipes
- Pesticides – Mostly the synthetic pesticides are the guilty party, however there are still tests to be done on “natural” pesticide products
- PCBs (polycarbonate) – These were phased out by the EPA in the late 70’s, but some similar products have been used in furniture and electronics as a flame retardant
- Heavy Metals – Mercury, arsenic and lead are naturally occurring, but exposure to any heavy metals can result in severe brain and nervous system damage
- BPA (Bisphenol A) – A popular ingredient used to make polycarbonate plastic for cups, dishes and consumer products