Toxic Baby Products

By: Lindsay Puccio
By: Lindsay Puccio

October 13, 2005

There is a warning over toxic chemicals found in baby products. Experts said this report is a wake-up call to all parents about watching what their children put in their mouths.

A non-profit consumer group put out an alarming report today, warning parents to watch out for their children's toys.

During a press conference the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, (USPIRG) released a study of several children's toys and baby products that contain toxic chemicals.

"Unfortunately, not all products marketed for children and babies are free from toxic chemicals. Many contain toxic chemicals that may have harmful health impacts for children exposed during critical stages of development," said Megan Purvis, a Lead Researcher for the study.

Environment California Research Center tested 25 common baby products looking for toxic chemicals. They said 18 of the teethers, bath books, and bath toys tested contained "phthalates." Those are chemicals used to make them more flexible. Unfortunately, it also causes several health problems.

"Phthalates have been linked to a number of adverse health effects including premature birth, reproductive defects, early onset puberty and even cancer," said Rachel Gibson, an author of the product report.

The group is asking the federal government to step in and require toy manufacturers to indicate on the product if any toxic chemicals are present, something manufactures are currently not required to do.

"Even the most informed consumers like me don't know that books like this, that my child has been chewing on for months, contain levels of very toxic chemicals," said Anna Aurilio, the Director for USPIRG.

The Toy Industry Association responded stating: "There is simply no solid, scientific evidence that any person has ever been harmed by the presence of phthalates in toys. In fact, there is considerable evidence to the contrary."

The Environmental Protection Agency said it would take a long-term study to determine exactly what harm the chemicals might pose to children.

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