PVC, Phthalates, and Lead


I’ve been doing a lot of crawling around on the Interwebs lately. I’ve been learning about some icky stuff that they put in … well … everything, but in particular in children’s toys. Like teething toys. That babies. Put in. Their. Mouths.

Ian, who is smarter than me—or at least better at adding 2 and 2 together—just asked me, “What about pacifiers?”

Oh crap. 

Dear God, 
Please, PLEASE do not let me find out that creepy dangerous chemicals are in the pluggies that I lovingly place in my baby’s eager, sucking mouth multiple times every day. I really cannot live without pluggies. They are the life raft I leap to regularly to save my sinking sanity. They are the balm to my weary, hounded soul. I cannot make it without pacifiers.
My nipples won’t survive. My jangled nerves will jangle their last.Please. Please.

OK. More research is in order. Possibly some of you will say, “Duh. We’ve known about this for years.” Which is completely understandable given that I shun The News because it’s scary and makes me cry.

Synchronicity is a bitch. Ya know? Just last Friday I bought a book called Toxic Sandbox (http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Sandbox-Environmental-Toxins-Childrens/dp/039953363X/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1203382169&sr=1-8). So far, I’ve read the lead chapter and I’m halfway through the mercury chapter. Guess what the next chapter is! Yep. Plastics, including phthalates. 

It seems phthalates are implicated in smaller scrotums, smaller penises, undescended testicles, reduced sperm count, reduced testosterone, testicular caner, liver cancer, and damaged kidneys IN RODENTS. It seems that these chemicals “feminize” babies and small children. The EU has banned products containing phthalates.

So, my gut reaction right now is to go buy a lead testing kit and to throw away every single plastic item in my home. Not sure how much will be left in my home if I do this. Dammit. 

See? There IS a reason (beyond aesthetics) I’ve been asking for and buying wooden toys for my boys for years.

2 Responses to “PVC, Phthalates, and Lead”

  • amaniellen
    February 18, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    yep, general run of the mill pacifiers do have those yucky chemicals in them, but I recently read an article about these: http://tinyurl.com/2bxkm4
    Natural rubber pacifiers. There’s a whole movement. I can’t remember where the article was, it was a comparison of all hte natural ones out there. Amazon, oddly, seemed to have a great selection of them.

    don’t fret.


  • dizzyburner
    February 19, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Further research has revealed that the major toy companies stopped using phthalates in the late 90’s. So these are probably less of a hazard to the boys than we had assumed. When you think about it, our 1970’s childhoods were probably full of way more dangerous chemicals. (Remember those shag rugs we used to crawl around on?)

    But! Phthalates are still a hazard to adults. Writer/filmmaker/heroine of my fantasies Tristan Taormino profiles the dangers of phthalate laden, ahem, “insertables” in:

    Knowledge is power!


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