Toys Scanned for Toxic Chemicals

Toys Scanned for Toxic Chemicals

(December 3, 2007)


Further testing scheduled for December 11 and 13, 10am - 12pm in the EcoCenter at 11 Grove Street.

WHAT: Representatives from San Francisco's Department of the Environment will use an "instant read" testing device to determine whether sample children's toys are hot with lead, cadmium, or other toxic compounds.

Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of Christmas in Union Square, concerned parents and children will line up at the testing station with toys from home, or with toys intended as presents. Technical staff from leading environmental health and children's organizations will be on hand to answer questions.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 5, 2007, 11am

WHERE: Union Square, near the Christmas tree

WHO: Representatives from SF Environment, Center for Environmental Health, Environment California, Breast Cancer Fund.

SAN FRANCISCO - From tainted lunch boxes to baby bibs, millions of popular children's products have been recalled this year. Yet as we enter the holiday shopping season and tales of toxic toys make headlines across the country, toxic toys are still on store shelves. San Francisco parents are eager learn if the toys in their own homes - or toys they are considering giving as holiday gifts - contain dangerous chemicals.

On Wednesday, December 5 experts will use a portable X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyzer to test toys for lead, cadmium, and other harmful chemicals. These chemicals have been linked to a wide array of health effects, including reproductive and hormonal disruptions, developmental and learning disabilities, and cancer. Babies and young children are uniquely vulnerable to toxic chemicals in toys since their brains and bodies are still developing and because they frequently put toys in their mouths.

"We need to hold manufacturers accountable for the way toys and other consumer products are made - and it's up to state and local governments to take action when there's little leadership on the federal level," said Jared Blumenfeld, Director of San Francisco's Department of the Environment.

Also on December 5, a coalition of national environmental health groups will release new research ranking chemicals in over 1,500 toys. At parents will be able to check how a variety of products rank from highest to lowest in terms of various heavy metals. On December 11 and 13, from 10am to 12pm, parents may visit the EcoCenter at 11 Grove Street in San Francisco for additional product testing.