Arnika finds toxic chemicals in children’s products made from recycled plastics

26 / 02 / 2018

A test of 47 products (16 children’s toys and 31 grooming and hair accessories) for brominated flame retardants (PBDEs) showed that 37% of the toys and 22% of the grooming/hair accessory products contained these chemicals associated with thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, delayed mental and physical development, lower IQ, advanced puberty, reduced fertility, and other impacts.

A plastic puzzle with a fairy tale mole, a Rubik’s-like cube puzzle and one hair accessory contained PBDE levels over 1,000 ppm which is generally considered to be hazardous waste. The Stockholm Convention, a global, legally-binding chemical treaty, defines Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), a set of the most harmful chemicals, at this level.
Most PBDEs are restricted to be used or placed on the market.

Researchers from Arnika, an environmental health research NGO in the Czech Republic, were not surprised to find toxic toys on the market because the EU has not yet taken the necessary actions to end toxic recycling.
“With the recently established, and ambitious, target of a 70% recycling rate by 2035, the EU should also address the problem of legacy chemicals contamination of recycled materials,” said Karolina Brabcová, Arnika’s Toxics-Free Recycling Campaign Coordinator.
Researchers say the circular economy must be protected by preventing contamination from toxic plastics from entering the waste stream.

Arnika calls for a ban on the use of toxic substances in plastics and more support for safe recycling in its new campaign called Toxics-Free Recycling.

Information Source and photo: Arnika
More: Toy or Toxic Waste? An Analysis of 47 Plastic Toy and Beauty Products Made from Toxic Recycling

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