Second-hand plastic toys could harm children with toxic chemicals

 28 Jan 2018 - 12:26

Second-hand plastic toys could harm children with toxic chemicals
Image used for representation.


London: Research carried out by the University of Plymouth shows that the second-hand toys would fail modern safety checks.

They tested 200 different toys, including dinosaur figurines and dolls, and found that over 10% contained high levels of at least one hazardous element.

They checked for nine of these elements which are toxic in low amounts and can be collected in a child's body when, for example, they put the toys in their mouths.

Children are particularly at risk from the toxins because their organs are still developing.

Dr Andrew Turner, who led the study, said: "Second-hand toys are an attractive option to families because they can be inherited directly from friends or relatives or obtained cheaply and readily from charity stores, flea markets and the internet. He added: "Lego bricks from the 70s and 80s are the big fail."

He explained that toys weren't tested back then and would fail to meet today's safety standards.

The scientists from Plymouth collected the toys from homes, nurseries and charity shops in the Devon city. All the toys were made entirely or largely out of unpainted moulded plastic.

Plastic figures, construction toys. building blocks, games, puzzles, and jewellery were found to have the most hazardous elements.

Levels were less for 'activity' toys such as balls, marbles, yoyos, tools, letters, model cars, model trains, and bath toys.

They published their findings in the journal of Environmental Science and Technology with the study believed to be the first of its kind. 

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