So much has been made recently of the dangerous levels of lead in children’s toys from China, but as a parent should we only concern ourselves lead? CNN recently had an article on a new study that found kids today have a high level of chemicals in their bodies form PBDEs or the chemicals present in flame retardants.
Studies on the health effects of PBDEs are only just beginning, but many countries have heeded the warning signs they see in animal studies. Sweden banned PBDEs in 1998. The European Union banned most PBDEs in 2004. In the United States, the sole manufacturer of two kinds of PBDEs voluntarily stopped making them in 2004. A third kind, Deca, is still used in the U.S. in electrical equipment, construction material, mattresses and textiles.
The article followed the story of two young children, which testing revealed had chemical exposure levels up to seven times those of their parents. Very little is known about the long term effects these chemical can have on children but they are undoubtedly bad.
Many of these chemicals are present in everyday products, that you would normally overlook. With so much press on the levels of lead in toys, shouldn’t we concern ourselves with the other chemicals that our kids come in contact with.
Present in personal care products like shampoos, conditioners, lotions, nail polish and cosmetics
Flame retardant chemicals in fabric like carpets, mattresses, couches and casings for TVs and other electronics
Found in hard plastics like baby bottles and food containers and plastic toys
Material in non-stick frying pans
Banned in the 70s but could still be present in older microwaves and refrigerators