Toxic Chemicals in Toys



The world today, particularly that of children, is not safe at all due to the unregulated use of toxic chemicals in the manufacture of products such as toys, which are eminently used by the children. This research paper explores the underlying issues that surround the poisonous chemicals in toys, but not limited to the impact on the environment, current studies about the topic, interventions, and future trends. The paper examines the role of the Environmental Protection Agencies in the US and the European Union in averting or reducing the rate of exposure and level of toxicity of such chemicals to the children and the environment where they live. Moreover, the paper discusses the immediate interventions on this hazard, which include the functioning of the HPV Challenge Program and Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH). The research paper discusses on what should be done in future to wholly avert the effects of the harmful chemicals to the children and the environment. They include regulators to invent sophisticated machines for checking the presence of dangerous chemicals, sale and their use.  The paper concludes by asserting that Lead contaminations cause lifetime mental and physical detriments, which should be stopped by enacting stringent regulations regarding the manufacture, sale, and use. The steps taken by the US and the European Union Environmental protection Agencies need to be emulated by nations that manufacture, use and sell such substances across the globe.

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Toxic Chemicals in Toys 

Harmful substances in consumer products remains a constant worry since the children have less body mass and their development is more rapid compared to the adults. Thus, the toxic chemical in the toys is of great concern.  The recent studies have indicated that alarming heights of cadmium and lead in products purposed for children and compounds in plastics, which include phthalates and bisphenol A, are suspected to cause harmful consequences to both the children and the people around them. This research paper seeks to illuminate various issues that surround the toxic chemical in toys, but not limited to the impact on the environment, past and current studies about the topic, interventions, and future trends.

Mainly, the toxic substances in toys pose a public health concern to society because there are numerous children whose parents tend to buy them toys for several reasons, which include the development of the kids’ creative ability, establish better social skills and even develop a greater sense of love for reading among others. In essence, the desire for a toy is inevitable and what is urgent than never is stringent intervention to have safe toys for the children (Becker, 2010). Otherwise, the children stand exposed to killer substances and the mass contamination of the environment is imminent. A recent study done in the US by the conducted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) indicated that about 2% cases that were attended in emergency rooms were treated on toy-related toxic substances. This hazard poses a significant danger to the children below 15 years since they can access these toys even from their siblings. This situation explains the need for urgent actions regarding regulations on the use of toxic substances in the production of these toys.  There is need to have a harm-free list of ingredients to be used in the production of the children toys. This will assure the safety of the children and the overall protection of the environment, thus a clean and safe society (Porta, 2015). 

Current Environmental and Public Health Approaches and Interventions

Numerous studies on the present and public health approaches and interventions have been put forth to explain the current safety situation and how nations can enhance increased relevant toxicological information, which is crucial in improving the standards of toys for the children and overall safe environment for all people.

The OECD member nations and the attributed manufacturing plants are working towards inspecting all chemicals manufactured or imported into their countries in quantities exceeding 1000 tons annually. It is attestable that more than 500 HPV substances fall in this group and the result of screening is a public chemical hazard document, which will be used as a blueprint to effect the needed interventions. The United States High Production Volume Information System, which is designed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA has actively contributed to the OECD program and will offer access to major health and societal effects on 1400HPV chemicals that are supported by the HPV Challenge Program. Additionally, there is a proposal for the Registration, Evaluation, and Authorization of Chemicals (REACH), within the European Union to address improved health and environmental protection from chemicals (Becker, 2010). Notably, under this program, the chemicals will be sold and used in Europe to a maximum of one ton per year and per manufacturer. This will regulate the large quantities that are sold in Europe by specific manufacturers per year. On how to know the kinds of these chemicals described here, the process of developing OECD global HPV Chemical portal is ongoing, and it will enable the online users to ask queries on health and environmental dangers of chemicals. The information is free of charge. This is a definite step aimed at cutting down compounds, which contain harmful substances such as lead and cadmium (Negev et al., 2015). 

On a similar note, a second US HPV Program provided a platform for the development of EPA’s branch of Voluntary Children’s Chemical Evaluation Program (VCCEP), which helped in obtaining the level of noxiousness, contact and risk data for understanding the upshots on children from the chemicals whose exposure to them is unprecedented (Levin et al., 2008). EPA identified two groups of progressive harmfulness and contact information, which is perceived crucial in understanding on how to characterize and categorize the risk of childhood exposure to particular chemicals. Over 20 substances that were believed to have been found in the human bodies were selected, and a pilot study was undertaken under the hospice of VECCP in 2000. The studies have succeeded to bring into the limelight the extent of exposure and toxicity of these chemicals to the children (Geiser, 2017). Besides, an appropriate action of limiting their use has been embraced, and this has seen cases of children treated in emergency rooms due to substance contamination attributed to the toy has recently reduced to less than 2%, however much need to be done, particularly on the use of lead. I believe more should be done on governmental regulations on the use of these chemicals and this should include banning of the use of harmful substances in toy making. 

Future Trends and Directions

We are living in a dynamic world full of creativity and discovery of the use of chemicals, which when applied without the knowledge of the regulators and used to produce toys that will silently kill our children. There is a need for the regulators to invent sophisticated machines for checking the presence of the chemicals that are banned from use. Countries should embrace in applying stringent actions on the listing of chemicals such as lead from use. This will save the children and will help in achieving a clean environment. Besides, the authorities should advise the public to desist from buying toys manufactured from polyvinyl chloride since it contains lead and other harmful additives. Besides, the public should be advised to avoid purchasing toys that have a strong smell of either chemical or perfume. Moreover, the public should be cautioned on buying of paint-coated toys. The public should embrace reading of label of products and ascertain the health information. This will help in avoiding the lead and cadmium-laden toys. Notably, nations such as the US has embraced such precautionary mechanism, and it is headed to a future that is more health toys children and environment. The environmental protection agency such as the United States EPA should be used to advance these changes and practices (Becker, 2010). 


The substances such as lead are harmful to the health of the children and the environment in general. There is need to regulate the amount of lead and cadmium that comes to the market through products such as toys. Lead contaminations cause lifetime mental and physical detriments, which should be stopped by enacting stringent regulations regarding the manufacture, sale, and use. The steps taken by the US and the European Union Environmental protection Agencies need to be emulated by nations that manufacture, use and sell such substances across the globe. This will help in achieving global goals regarding the environmental protection.

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  1. Becker, M., Edwards, S., & Massey, R. I. (2010). Toxic chemicals in toys and children’s products: Limitations of current responses and recommendations for government and industry. Environmental Science & Technology, 44(21), 7986-91.
  2. Geiser, K. (2015). Chemicals without harm: Policies for a sustainable world.
  3. Levin, R., Brown, M. J., Kashtock, M. E., Jacobs, D. E., Whelan, E. A., Rodman, J., Schock, M. R., … Sinks, T. (October 01, 2008). Lead exposures in U.S. children, 2008: Implications for prevention. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116, 10, 1285-1293.
  4. Negev, M., Berman, T., Reicher, S., Balan, S., Soehl, A., Goulden, S., … Diamond, M. L. (2017). Regulation of chemicals in children’s products: How U.S. and EU regulation impacts small markets. The Science of the Total Environment,  616-617.
  5. Porta, M. (2015). Human contamination by persistent toxic substances: The rationale to improve exposure assessment. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 22(19), 14560-14565. 
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