Kids’ toys may contain toxins

Kids’ toys may contain toxins

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 Montreal shows 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.”

Keeping an eye on what children are putting in their mouths is important to keeping them safe, as it has always been, Dr. Hampton says.  If you are concerned, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website on toy recalls to ensure you aren’t giving your child a contaminated toy.

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  1. I agree that a parent must be vigilant in knowing what children are doing with toys. It takes a lot of effort, but is important to ensure their safety.

  2. Toys that are painted and imported should be bought with care, because lead is often present in the paint itself. Although lead containing paints are banned in the US, toy makers from other countries are not subjected to the ban and care should be taken with it.

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health enews Staff
health enews Staff

health enews staff is a group of experienced writers from our Advocate Aurora Health sites, which also includes freelance or intern writers.