Do Second-Hand Toys Pose Health Risk for Kids

Over time, laws keeping toys safe for our children have evolved. That means, in theory, toys you find at the thrift shop, yard sale or second hand store may harbor toxins that would not be legal in toys being sold new today. Now there is a study that proves this risk is more than theory. Dr. Andrew Turner, of the University of Plymouth, led a study analyzing 200 used plastic toys that were gathered from “homes, nurseries, and charity shops.” The collection included “cars, trains, construction products, figures and puzzles, with all of them being of a size that could be chewed by young children. The toys were tested for heavy metals. With the exceptions of arsenic and mercury, toxins were found in over 20 different toys with lead posing the greatest exposure risks, the lab evaluated the likelihood that a child who chewed off of these toys would end up with the toxins in their body. Even the colours used in old LEGO bricks exceeded limits. The European Toy Safety Directive corrected those problems years ago. How to reduce the risk. Look for toys that were advertised as exceeding the standards when they were sold new, Select toys that were made from natural materials and avoid plastic. Old LEGO are still playable for older children…Ed

Source: Christine Lepisto / Photo: University of Plymouth image

Posted in All Stories, Ed McMahon

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