We should be able to trust that the things our babies and kids use are free of toxic chemicals. However, this is simply not the case. As if raising children wasn't stressful enough, we live in a society that puts profits over the protection of its most vulnerable populations. The responsibility shouldn't solely be on families to understand why and which products they need to avoid. But, legislation has been slow-to-roll in areas of protecting people from toxic chemicals.
The good news, on October 18th, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) banned concentrations of more than 0.1% of diisononyl phthalate (DINP), diisobutyl phthalate (DIBP), dinpentyl phthalate (DPENP), dinhexyl phthalate (DHEXP), or dicyclohexyl phthalate (DCHP) in children's toys or child care items.
Phthalates are used to soften plastic so that it is more pliable. It is a proven, scientific fact that exposure to these chemicals by children has been linked with health problems like hormone disruption and damage to reproductive development, as well as many other serious health conditions.
“This is a big victory for children’s health,” said Avinash Kar, Senior Attorney, NRDC. “These chemicals in children’s toys and child care articles are a known health risk. In banning them, CPSC is following the advice of its scientific experts and doing precisely what Congress directed the agency to do in a 2008 law it passed overwhelmingly.”
Continued advocacy will be needed to eliminate phthalates once and for all. This is going to take a massive overhaul of the manufacturing and chemical industries. However, this is a good start. We can all be part of the movement by reducing or eliminating the use of plastic in our lives.
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