Identifying Toxic Trinkets and Toys

Are the toys your child has toxic?

toxic toys

My four-year-old was at a classmate's party recently and received the cutest little bauble as a giveaway: a brightly coloured ball on a keychain. Cute, cute, cute! But reading the ingredients inside the fancy pink ball made this mom squirm.

The product called Twist and Pout is a lip balm with SPF. The package itself listed the active ingredients which did include 7.5% octinoxate and 4.5% oxybenzone. Both are commonly used synthetic sunscreen ingredients with oxybenzone being THE most controversial sunscreen chemical of the bunch. With health concerns that include endocrine disruption, oxybenzone certainly deserves a controversial billing.

I continued to check online for the remainder of the ingredients. Sadly, the company's website did not list the ingredients. After searching other websites that sell the product, I found the rest of the ingredients.

The fancy pink ball also contained retinyl palmitate. I had read recently that Health Canada is looking to put a warning on sunscreen products containing retinyl palmitate. It is suspected that retinol or its derivative retinyl palmitate breaks down in sunlight potentially causing cellular level damage. Yikes! The ingredients were beginning to sound more and more dastardly and far from being a suitable child's toy.

I read lots of reviews of the Twist and Pout product on line. Many blogs touted its natural ingredients and one even made mention of the products all 'organic' ingredients. Huh? Nary a mention of the unsavoury very synthetic ingredients. People seemed to love the feel of the product on their lips and of course the packaging was a huge hit. The do-gooder manufacturer even offers 5% of sales of 'Pink Ribbon' balls to Breast Cancer-based work. Are people choosing this product without focusing on what toxins are lurking inside?

It made me realize how ever-important it is to research your own products and ensure you are comfortable with the ingredients. In this case, I definitely say 'toxic trinket' not suitable as a giveaway for wee kids.

The manufacturer of Twist and Pout has loads of opportunity to improve on their cute product. Take out the synthetics (including the fragrance of unknown origin) and more people (including me) may be touting its complete and utter fabulousness.

Recently at my eldest daughter's birthday party, I chose to giveaway Keeki Pure & Simple products and Clinical Luxury's LipStuff. The kids loved them AND both lines contain only the most natural ingredients with not one suspected toxin. To me these nicely fit the bill for young girls who wanted to look and feel fancy without their parents having to worry about any associated risks.

Dawn graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in Environmental Science, long before she had babies. She never imagined how her interest in environmental chemicals would play such an integral part of her life as a mother.

Having worked at one of Canada's largest packaged food companies for many years brought to light how controversial chemicals are excessively used in most processed foods. 

Then when Dawn's first daughter was two years old, she had a severe allergic reaction to chemicals commonly used in conventional sunscreen and life changed forever.  Research and label reading became commonplace especially where her kids were involved.

Dawn now loves to write in hopes of helping other parents navigate the challenging world of everyday household chemicals.

Follow Dawn on twitter @sessabel