Try to find natural toy products that are not plastic. The safest toys are made of unfinished solid wood, preferably certified sustainably-produced hardwoods. These certified woods permit forest regeneration and ensure preservation of old-growth and endangered trees. If the wood used in the natural toy is finished, it should be a natural oil finish, such as beeswax, linseed or walnut oil. The paint or coatings on metal or wood toys can possibly contain lead. Choose solid wood over plywood or particleboard, since these pressed woods can contain formaldehyde and have toxic glues that off-gas.
Most stuffed animals and soft fabric toys are made with synthetic materials that are treated with various chemicals to make them stain resistant or fire retardant. Choose stuffed animals and fabric teethers that are made of all natural, untreated fibers, preferably certified organic cotton with non-toxic dyes.
Other products that are likely to be made of vinyl (PVC) are baby books, bibs, diaper covers, and rain gear. See our information about PVC in baby mattresses in this report. Also beware of magnetic toys where the magnets can be swallowed and cause serious injuries.
We have researched natural toy companies and found the best non-toxic toys that are safe and healthy as well as the best for stimulating imagination and creative play. We are continuing to add new natural toys as we find more. Check out our Natural Toy Products
The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, and partners across the country have released the 3rd Annual Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys at www.HealthyStuff.org. One in three toys tested this year still contained one or more harmful chemical including lead, cadmium, arsenic, and mercury. 18% of the products tested still contained lead. Many plastic toys still contain PVC.
This year at HealthyStuff.org, holiday shoppers can search for toys by product name, UPC code, product type, manufacturer, or retailer to easily find products that have No, Low, Medium, or High levels of toxic chemicals. Also available is a personalized holiday wish list that can be sent to family and friends, blog-friendly widgets in English and Spanish, a mobile application, and quick searches for toy rankings via SMS texting in English and Spanish.
U.S. PIRG has released their Trouble in Toyland report, to evaluate which toys are safe — and which aren’t.
Along with this report, US PIRG is launching a new interactive Web site. It works on your smart phone, so you can check a toy’s safety or report hazardous, toxic toys while you shop. https://www.uspirg.org/action/toy-safety-taf2
Make smart, non toxic toy purchases by visiting www.ToySafety.mobi from your smart phone or home computer to check on toy hazards and report dangerous toys while you shop.
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