healthytoys.org Finding Toxic Chemicals in Toys
If you have kids on your holiday buying list, you may want to check healthytoys.org before making any purchases. The site, a joint project between the Ecology Center and the Washington Toxics Coalition is working to provide a long list of toys with dangerous levels of toxins. Major toxins like Lead, Arsenic, Mercury and Chlorine are all tested, as well as a number of other potentially harmful substances. While it's easy to point the finger of blame at Chinese manufacturers, I think we all should be looking closer to home at the companies who are writing the checks to the assembly lines - the companies who put their brand name on the box for all these harmful products are largely based here in the United States where we should have some control over what they are allowed to put on store shelves.
Don't forget to check on products you use in your own daily life as well. Another research group, with details at safecosmetics.org is testing cosmetics like lipsticks for lead and finding that many of the most expensive brands have harmfully high levels of lead. We've likely all been doing unknown damage to our bodies using products with no regulation. I'm not really a big fan of excessive government regulation, but in cases where companies are knowingly using harmful substances in their products, it may be that someone needs to jump in and put a stop to unhealthy products.