It goes without saying that the Earth is composed of numerous toxic chemicals such as Mercury and hydrogen sulfide. However, these chemicals may be in more abundance than even us humans realize. A study from Environmental International has found that these toxic cancer causing chemicals are found in plastic children’s toys. Thousands of these toys are bought daily, unbeknownst to the parents and children how dangerous they could be.
According to the study reported by Ed Cara, the chemicals are known to mimic hormones in the body and exposure to these chemicals “can have negative and fatal effects on its endocrine disruptors especially on younger developing people”. Such chemicals include phthalates, mercury, and in some cases petroleum. These substances can have fatal consequences of our youth such as cancer and brochitis if ingested into the lungs.
Unfortunately, there’s not enough information about which chemicals are the most harmful to the body. To attain this information, the study reviewed the chemical makeup of each children’s plastic toy along with the method which the child plays with this toy. Analyst Peter Fantke found that “Out of the 419 chemicals found in hard, soft, and foam plastic materials such as children’s toys, 126 substances could potentially harm children’s health either via cancer or non cancer effects”. Specifically, the study founded 31 plasticizers, 18 flame retardants and 8 toxic fragrances all found within these innocent children’s plastic toys.
Furthermore, the study founded chemicals that hadn’t been flagged by other countries as needed to be regulated. Examples include titanium, silk, and even the plastic itself. Some substances were also “regrettable substitutions” which the study defines as “chemicals that were supposed to be a safer alternative to an earlier unsafe chemical but that might carry similar health risks”. Fantke concludes, “These substances should be prioritized for phase out in toy materials and replaced with safer and more sustainable alternatives”.
Even so, there’s much unknown about the exact degree of harm caused by these chemicals. However, due to their ubiquitous nature, it would be difficult for one person to save the youth from these chemicals. The experiment authors agree, however, that wide scale regulation of these chemicals must be established. They hope further research can conclude which chemicals are and aren’t safe for children and save them from further harm.