Starting Monday, you can go online and find out about some of the toxic chemicals being used to make toys and products meant for children. You'll find chemicals you've never heard of, and some that you can't even pronounce.
In response to a new state law, major toy manufacturers are lifting the veil and disclosing their use of chemicals identified by the state as chemicals of concern -- 66 toxic chemicals often found in toys, kids jewelry, and kids cosmetics. These include chemicals safety advocates have warned us about for years, because of potentially long-term health risks for babies and children.
"The fact that we have this list of 66 chemicals should serve as a sign to manufacturers that they don't want to be using these chemicals in the first place.", explained Ivy Sager-Rosenthal of the Washington Toxics Coalition.
Local parent welcomed the news.
"This is a fantastic step in the right direction," Barnett said.
Barnett looks for the day she won't have to worry about harmful toxins in her 4-year-old daughter's toys. She hopes other parents will check the toxic ingredient list and see how widespread some chemicals are used.
"Why turn a blind eye to those things that are most toxic to her growing body?" she asked.
The new State Department of Ecology database track toxic chemicals as reported by individual toy manufacturers and retailers- so you can look them up by name. The goal is to help safety advocates and lawmakers learn the truth about just how toxic some toys may be as they consider future regulations- and help parents like Tanya Barnett put pressure on toy makers to find safe alternatives for all toxic chemicals in all kids toys.
While you cannot check the database for chemicals in a specific toy, you can get an idea of the toxic chemicals likely found in generic categories, such as dolls and puppets, or components, such as metal and textiles. As the state points out, the fact that toxic chemicals are present does not mean the toxins are at dangerously high levels.
By law, all large manufacturers of products that are likely to be placed in a child's mouth or on their skin were supposed to report the chemical listings to the state Department of Ecology by August 31, including large retailers that make or import products for sale under their own name. If you check the database, you'll notice the reports from some very big names in the children's toy and product game are missing