Just when you thought it was safe to let your wee ones play after screening all their toys, bottles, sippy cups, whatever, for toxic chemicals like BPA and heavy metals like lead…Now the Ecology Center, based not far from Detroit rec room floors in Ann Arbor, has come out with a report of having found toxins banned from kids’ toys in common floor materials. You can’t even let the rug rats enjoy a good crawl without taking risks that cadmium, lead, and phthalates (which are part of a group of chemicals with hormone-like characteristics) may afflict them.
Phthalates, in particular, are nasty culprits, linked to learning disabilities in children not to mention asthma, birth defects, and even cancer, especially in the liver. That organ always takes a lot from toxins found in anything the body is exposed to either internally or externally, as it is a major detoxifier and filter. These chemicals are used in plastics universally, and therefore are to be found virtually in everything we encounter in today’s world unless it is comprised completely of non-plastic materials. The federal government succeeded in banning their use in many children’s toys and other products meant for kids a year ago, but they have not, of course, tackled the substance over-all.
The solution, in essence, to this problem is one of avoidance. You can’t realistically avoid all contact with plastic in today’s world. If you locked yourself or your offspring up in the proverbial bubble, well, frankly, it’s going to most likely be made of plastic. A return to a more natural lifestyle and environment in the home is about the only option. There is little you can do, unless you participate in a large group organized for such a purpose, outside of your personal dwelling space (and then, only that if you own it). Using natural materials for flooring, namely wood, concrete, or bamboo, for example, would work; then additional coverings such as wool (if no allergy is present as with many people), cotton or other natural fibers will suffice.
Not many people, unfortunately, are going to be likely to take any personal action to eradicate phthalates from their living quarters, whether for their own sake or that of their children. There are simply a lot of people who evaluate the importance of issues of safety and health according to convenience. It’s an easy bet that a large collective group of shoulders will shrug after reading the report and go back to whatever they were doing before.
See the original article on this topic at:http://www.msnbc.com/id/39728598/from/toolbar
For a list of materials containing phthalates and heavy metals, go to: http://www.healthystuff.org