The Importance of Chemical-Free Toys and Where to Buy Them

Aug, 09, 2017

By Fredrica Syren:

In past years, there have been many toy recalls because of high amounts of chemicals and heavy metals found in them. Sadly, there are very few guidelines or regulations regarding chemicals in toys in the U.S. However, the good news is that, thanks to recalls, more attention has been brought to toys and the demands for more regulations both in the U.S. and the EU. As parents, it is up to us to keep our children safe from dangerous toxic chemicals.

First, as a mom of three who also try live an eco-friendly and chemical free life, my rule of thumb is to avoid plastic toys for kids at all cost. It’s also almost impossible to know which plastics are “safe” and which are not. Unfortunately, many toys are made from plastic due to its durability; and most plastic contains phthalates and/or Bisphenol-A (BPA), both of which have been linked to cancer, hormone disruption and developmental problems in children.

Lead is another chemical I worry about in toys. Many painted toys may contain lead and other heavy metals, which have been linked to serious impairments in babies and in children’s developing brains. Yeah, you see the problem: toys may not be as innocent and safe as we parents would hope.

My tips for buying safe kids’ toys are these:

  • Buy toys made with solid woods, wool, organic cotton and stainless steel; and toys painted with water-based or nontoxic paints.
  • Favor non-battery operated toys because, not only is it better for the planet, but also because the batteries are loaded with toxins.

Favor high quality toys. As much as it pains me to say so, toys made with better and safer materials tend to be more expensive. The good news is that they also tend to last longer. Here is a list of great eco- and chemical-safe toy sellers:

It angers me that today, with the availability of research proving how dangerous toxic chemicals are to humans — more importantly, to children — there still are toxic chemicals used in children’s everyday products. If we take a moment to think about how much our little ones handle and mouth their toys, it only makes sense to avoid all toys containing chemicals and to take that extra time to know what’s in the toys given to your kids.

For more writing about finding safe kids’ toys check these out:




Fredrika Syren

Fredrica Syren, the author and founder of Green-Mom.com, was born in Sweden. Her mother was a classically trained chef who introduced her to many eclectic flavors and skills at a young age. Her mom’s passion for the outdoors and gardening planted the seed for her own love of nature and healthy eating. She received a degree in journalism and has worked as a print, Internet and broadcasting journalist for many years with big businesses within Europe and the United States. After her mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer and she with pre-cancer, Fredrica changed her career to become a full time yoga teacher and activist. A longtime world traveler, foodie and career woman, she was exposed to many facets of life, but nothing inspired her more than becoming a mom. After her first-born, Fredrica began a food blog focusing on local, seasonal, organic & vegetarian dishes. Years of food blogging developed into the cookbook Yummy in My Tummy, Healthy Cooking for the Whole Family. Upon the arrival of her second child, Fredrica founded Green-Mom.com. Her vision was to establish a site providing insight about gardening, home and personal care, baby & child, and of course food & nutrition. Green-Mom.com hosts many talented writers shedding light on ways to incorporate eco-friendly and nutritious practices for busy families. She is an advocate for organic, local and sustainable businesses. Fredrica hopes to inspire social change through her lifestyle, passion and business. Fredrica lives with her husband James Harker-Syren and their three children in San Diego, CA.

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