Today on Planet 100: The Planet 100 Guide to Green Toys (Video)

Dangerous chemicals and toxins have a weird way of working themselves into the most unfortunate of places. Cosmetics, food containers, and even children's toys are known to contain parabens, BPA, phthalates, and other harmful compounds.

If you live in the United States, the use of many of these chemicals in children's toys has been restricted. For Canadians there is some good news: An existing ban on the use of pthalates in pacifiers has been extended to match the US standard.Still, pthalates are only one of several potential threats parents should be mindful of. Here's Planet 100's guide to green toys:

Why Green?

Why green? For that we need to go back to 2007 which was dubbed the year of the recall with more than 17 million toys recalled due to violation of federal lead paint standards.

In 2010, the Consumer Products Safety Commission recalled 55,000 units of children's costume jewelry that contained high levels of cadmium and 12 million drinking glasses sold at McDonald's were recalled because the painted coating contained cadmium.

Health effects?

Toxic toys have serious health implications. Lead has been proven to have a detrimental effect on a child's developmental and neurological systems.

Other dangerous toxins commonly found in children's toys include phthalates. That cute little rubber ducky is laden with them. Phthalates can disrupt the endocrine system, cause birth defects and damage the liver and testes.

Nimble Newbies

The silver lining to the cloud of toxic toys is that small companies, especially start-ups, are coming out with a wide variety of safe, green toys.

The key to making a green toy is starting with an eco-friendly process. That's been the case for Green Toys, a San Francisco-based toy manufacturer that uses recycled plastic milk jugs to make classic toys that come in recycled cardboard packaging.

Big Retailers

Big toy retailers are also taking advantage of the growing market for safe and environmentally friendly toys.

Amazon now sells thousands of eco-friendly toys that use recycled materials, reclaimed wood and organic fabrics while retail giant, Toys R Us, sells a line of recycled cards and earth-friendly bags.

Consumer Demand

Research shows that one-third of mothers with children under the age of 18 are shopping for "green" products at least some of the time.

And, that trend doesn't show any signs of slowing down. As more small companies start producing green toys, this creates a better domestic infrastructure and ways of working with small manufacturers who can meet their demands.

That's our guide to Green Toys. Do you have any favorites? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Read more about toxic toys:
Canada Restricts Phthalates in Kids' Toys
President Bush Says "Baby, Get That Phthalate-Filled Building Block Out Of Your Mouth!"
How to Go Green: Kids' Toys
Congress Will Do USEPAs Job: Reduce Childhood Exposure To Phthalates In Toys

Tags: Planet Green

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