ISSUE OF THE MONTH: TOXIC TOYSChemical Found in Baby Products and Toys May Trigger Human Breast Cancer
Did you know that your baby’s bottle or rubber ducky could possibly give her breast cancer someday? An alarming new study published in Reproductive Toxicology finds strong evidence that environmental exposure during fetal life and early development to bisphenol A – a chemical developed as a synthetic hormone in 1936 and found today in a wide range of household plastics and baby products such as teethers, bottles and PVC toys – may cause breast cancer in adult women. In previous studies, bisphenol A and other plastic additives known as phthalates have been linked to a frightening list of other problems including reproductive birth defects, early onset of puberty, asthma, “undermasculinization” of boys and endocrine-disruption.
These findings coincide with the Stop Toxic Toys Bill, San Francisco’s first-in-the-nation ban on bisphenol A and phthalates. The ban should have gone into effect December 1, but has been delayed by lawsuits from toymakers and companies who say their products are still safe for use. A January 2007 hearing is scheduled. While these toxic chemicals have been banned in the European Union since 1999, there has been no formal regulation in the U.S. up to the point of San Francisco’s ban. To learn more about the relevance of the Stop Toxic Toys bill, read this article from the S.F. Chronicle.
MOMS - Making Our Milk Safe - is a group of mothers in 34 states fighting to ban hormone-disrupting chemicals like bisphenol A. "Whether you're a blue-state mom or a red-state mom, nobody wants their kids exposed to toxic chemicals. This is a human issue -- something we all, as parents, are confronted with,” says founder Mary Brune. To find out more about MOMS and what you can do in your area, visit www.safemilk.org.
Because U.S. law doesn’t require manufacturers to disclose ingredients on all consumer products, it can be hard to tell which plastics could be harming your kids. For advice about how to identify and avoid children’s products that leach these toxicants, view Environment California's Shopper's Guide to Toxic-Free Kids
We at Green Schools Initiative believe that children’s products should not contain toxic chemicals. With such overwhelming evidence pointing to the harmful effects of phthalates and bisphenol A, we need to raise awareness to keep them out of homes and schools. Email or print the articles below and give them to your friends, school's principal and PTA. Ask them to eliminate toxic chemicals from the school environment and avoid plastics like PVC.
- Oakland Tribune on toxic toys