by Michelle Lloyd of Mkokopelli
Sometimes we need a gentle kick in the tushie to remind us of why we take the stance that we do when it comes to buying children's products. I recently wrote about how sometimes being eco is hard, and my thoughts played out in real life when my daughter went to her friend's b-day party. It turns out there was much ado over My Little Pony and now she's asking Santa to get them for her. Seeing her little face light up, I let my guard down and thought maybe just one pony would be okay, right? I decided to write Hasbro to find out more info before giving in though.
During my week long wait for a reply, I started researching blogs and websites like Healthy Toys to see if they had any info. Most bloggers said Hasbro didn't respond and Healthy Toys said My Little Pony's were a moderate hazard in 2007-2009 since they tested positive for chlorine. But I was hoping that Hasbro changed their plastic formulation – because face it – PVC toys are so 2008. Or so I thought….
I finally heard back from Hasbro: “We believe based on scientific evidence that PVC in toys presents no health risk to children. Hasbro's toys are designed to be compliant with all current laws around the world, including those relating to PVC. Please be advised My Little Pony figures do contain PVC.”
I find that very interesting since a week before I wrote Hasbro the American Public Health Association passed a resolution urging facilities such as hospitals, schools, and nursing homes to reduce the amount of PVC used: “Despite its ubiquity in the marketplace, the public remains largely unaware of the public health and environmental risks posed by PVC at all stages of its lifecycle (from production to disposal).”
Some of the PVC additives listed on the APHA site are lead, cadmium, organotins, plasticizers like phthalates and fillers. Though phthalates have been banned from infant products and children toys (12 yrs and younger) since 2009, they are still in many PVC products. PVC also releases dioxins- an unwanted bi-product which is toxic- during production, disposal, and possibly when heated. Vinyl chloride, used to make PVC, is named a carcinogen by the EPA. It sounds like all of the above are health risks that I wouldn't want to chance when it comes to my kiddo.
P.S. When I broke the news to my daughter that she wouldn't be able to get My Little Pony, her response was, “Can I get a My Little Pony coloring book instead?” See, saying no isn't all that hard!
Baby Dolls and Action Figures are Often Made from PVC Plastic
We've been researching toxic plastic in toys for years and we just haven't seen much improvement.
In Michelle's experience, Hasbro eventually told her what My Little Ponies were made from. And even thought they defended the use of PVC, at least they gave an honest answer. That's not usually the case…
Toxic Toys R Us
Independent product testing has confirmed that Toys “R” Us is selling toys made with PVC. Chemicals released during PVC's lifecycle have been linked to chronic diseases in children, impaired child development and birth defects, cancer, disruption of the endocrine system, reproductive impairment and immune system suppression.
Find out which toys contained PVC here
Photo Source: Kinomi via Flickr