Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Healthy Kids Campaign

We need to start considering the safety of our children's toys and the effects they are having on our population. The Oregon Environmental Council has launched the Healthy Kids Campaign to bring awareness to this issue.

Some facts according to the Oregon Environmental Council:
  • Recent testing of over 1,200 popular children's toys revealed that 60% of these products contained lead, cadmium, arsenic, mercury or PVC, including many toys made in the United States.
  • Canada has declared that bisphenol-A (BPA) is a toxic substance and is moving to ban the chemical in plastic baby bottles. In lab studies, even small amounts of BPA have been linked to reproductive damage, hormone disruption and reduced sperm count.
  • Recent studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found that BPA is present in over 92.6% of Americans.
  • Big industry (and the Food and Drug Administration) has been claiming that the amount of the toxic chemical that leaches out of these products is not a threat to humans. However, this opinion has been roundly dismissed by the FDA's own advisory board.

One of the toughest issues with riding our homes of these potentially harmful toys, is what to do with them? I would normally donate unwanted items so they can be reused, but in this case I don't want to expose other children to them. OEC has provided an elegant solution to this problem.

OEC will hand deliver these unsafe products to your legislator to illustrate the need to close the loopholes that let these products get on our shelves and into our homes. Don't worry, they'll recycle them after they make your point! Since recycling these plastics can be difficult, especially in rural areas, this solution is great.

To take action look through your toy collection, and the rest of your belongings, for hard #7 plastics. You can check items in the Healthy Toy Database. When you find offending items collect them together and mail them to:
Oregon Environmental Council
222 NW Davis Street, Suite 309
Portland, Oregon 97209

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