Toddlers explore and play by interacting with the world around them. Often times this means putting foreign objects in their mouths. This can lead to swallowing toys or trinkets or ingesting harmful substances.
And now, new research finds that some children’s toys may contain dangerous chemicals which that can be harmful and dangerous to kids.
Many children’s toys are made cheaply and include harmful toxins like lead and cadmium. A study published in Polytechnique Montrealshows that in North America, many children’s toys contain these dangerous substances.
Gérald J. Zagury, a professor in the Department of Civil, Geological and Mining Engineering at Polytechnique Montreal, examined 72 toys purchased in the North American market and conducted contamination tests. In the lab, he recreated the conditions of a child’s intestinal tract and tested 24 samples. The results were troubling.
Cadmium and lead were present, especially in low-cost metal jewelry and toys. Other harmful toxins that showed on contamination tests were copper, nickel, arsenic and antimony. The exposure can be harmful from merely biting or sucking on toys; they don’t have to be swallowed to do damage, researchers said.
Dr. Tony Hampton, a family medicine physician with Advocate Medical Group says he hopes the research opens some eyes.
“The study is a wake-up call for parents and caregivers to be extremely careful about letting little ones put foreign objects in their mouths,” says Dr. Hampton, “Choking is always a danger as well as toxic substances getting into their systems.”