Poison in Toys: Play it Safe When Buying!

Searching for Harmful Substances with the ToxFox app

With the BUND’s ToxFox app, which you can download free of charge from the app stores, the pollutants in gifs toys and everyday products can be detected. You scan the barcode of the product and receive information about the ingredients. With a total of 19 partner organizations, the BUND is building a European product database in the “AskREACH” project. The project aims to sensitize the population, trade, and industry across Europe to “substances of very high concern” in products, according to the Federal Environment Agency.

Plasticizers, Heavy Metals, and Other Toxins

Heavy metals in plastic cars, plasticizers in cuddly toys, formaldehyde in wooden toys – hidden toxins can not only add up, but they can also potentiate – and make you sick. Children are particularly at risk because some toy manufacturers use cheap and toxic chemicals for cost reasons. Whether a plastic toy is potentially hazardous to health depends on the type of plastic used and the additives. Some manufacturers voluntarily provide information on this, but this is not mandatory. If you don’t have an app available when shopping and still want to be largely secure, you should at least heed the following advice:

Shopping Tips Seoul, Korea, Vendor, Market, Flea, Street Market

  • Pay attention to the processing of the toys. If seams burst and eyes fail, this indicates that the manufacturer is using cheap materials.
  • Beware of cheap no-name toys. It’s not so cheap for nothing. The popular soft squishies, for example, are often contaminated with chemicals that can damage the nervous system and liver or irritate the mucous membranes, according to the consumer advice centers.
  • Smell the toy, because if a product smells unpleasant, then back to the shelf with it. It can be concluded from this that the manufacturer was not very careful during production and that it may also contain harmful substances. However, this tip does not provide any security, because phthalate plasticizers in particular are odorless!
  • The consumer advice centers advise to only buy toys made of soft plastic if there is obviously no polyvinyl chloride (PVC) in them (“PVC-free”). If PVC is unavoidable, it should at least be “phthalate-free”.
    Toys made of PE (polyethylene), PP (polypropylene), or ABS (acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene copolymer) can be bought because these plastics do not use plasticizers.
  • Familiarize yourself with the various seals that are in circulation. Some seals are simply meaningless.