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Plastic Kids-Study Finds Toxic Levels of Plastic Chemicals in Children

A federal study focused on "human biomonitoring" published in Der Spiegel, the German weekly magazine, has found that many children between the ages of 3 and 17 have alarmingly high levels of plastic in their bodies.

The study was commissioned by the German Environment Ministry and the Robert Koch Institute, and measured the amount of plastic byproducts in urine samples of 2,500 children between 2014 and 2017. An alarming 97% of the samples tested positive for plastic byproducts, and traces of 11 out of 15 plastic ingredients were detected.

Outcomes of the study show that our bodies mimic our environment. As plastic production increases, chemicals also show up at an increasing rate in the body. Of particular concern are the high levels of perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) that were found in the study.

PFOA is an extremely toxic chemical found in non-stick cookware, waterproof clothing, fire-fighting foams, stain-resistant carpets, ski wax, and some paper and cardboard packaging.  The chemical causes damage to the reproductive system and is toxic to the liver. Children are more susceptible to the toxicity of PFOA's as this chemical is persistent and has bioaccumulative properties. Twenty percent of the children revealed PFOA levels higher than what is considered safe.

Pending is a EU ban on PFOA, planned to take effect in 2020 however it remains clear that more vigilance is needed to prevent unnecessary exposure to plastic chemicals.  Enhanced government oversight as well as increased household oversight will be required to reduce toxic plastic exposure.

So many toys are made of plastic, and a lot of these toys end up in the mouths of little ones. Although getting rid of all plastic for health and environmental reasons is what we advocate, we love Green Toys which use no BPA, phthalates, PVC or external coatings and also meets FDA food contact standards. They are packaged with recycled and recyclable materials and printed with soy inks AND they can be thrown in the dishwasher for deeper cleaning.

Read More German Study: Alarming Levels of Dangerous Plastics in Children's Bodies

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