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Toxic chemicals in soft toys

india Updated: Sep 19, 2006 12:13 IST

That bright, yellow teddy bear, the mischievous looking monkey and the Disney characters you have in your collection of soft toys could be dangerous for you.

If a report released in the Capital on Monday is to be believed, harmful chemicals present in the toys made of soft plastic could decrease your intelligence quotient (IQ).

 Smart box

Lack of control

No mechanism to regulate toxic material in toys

Most unbranded toys imported from China

No proper study undertaken to ascertain damage unbranded toys can do to kids 

These harmful chemicals could also expose you to severe health hazards such as liver damage. According to the report by Toxics Link, an NGO working for environment protection, dangerous levels of lead and cadmium have been found in toys made of soft plastic, usually known as PVC.



“Since PVC is the cheapest plastic available, a majority of manufacturers in the unorganised sector use it to make toys,” said Ravi Agrawal, director Toxics Link. Of the 111 toy samples, 77 were made of PVC material while the rest were non-PVC plastic. A total of 88 samples (77 PVC and 11 non-PVC) tested positive for lead and cadmium.



“With use, the toxins in the PVC start moving out and become harmful,” said Dr Abhay Kumar, senior programmes officer of the NGO. Toy manufacturers claim that the findings are baseless. “Is there a single medical case that proves beyond doubt that toys made of PVC harm children?” asked RK Varma, president of Toy Manufacturers Association of India.



But if the findings are true, the health of millions of kids is endangered, said Dr Anjali Kulkarni, paediatrician, Apollo Hospital.

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