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2 June 2014

Why Mums Like Organic Baby Toys

Almost nothing is more precious than watching your children hug their stuffed animals, rag dolls, blankets, and other soft toys. Kids truly LOVE their soft toys! They are an integral part of the sweetest parts of childhood. Kids like to cuddle with them while they rock, nap with their nose buried in them, roll around on the floor with them, and chew on them for comfort.

While these baby toys may look innocuous, numerous recent news report have revealed to the world the fact that dangerous toxins are lurking in mass produced non-organic soft toys! These journalistic exposés set off alarm bells in the minds of savvy Mums who want to protect their children!

What was the main question these savvy Mums immediately asked?
"How can we protect our children from these toxins in baby toys when they seem to be absolutely everywhere?"

The most truthful answer is that almost all non-organic soft toys contain toxins! In fact, most of them contain multiple sources of toxins and multiple types of toxins! Moreover, these are NOT mild toxins... they are extremely harmful toxins that have no business being anywhere near your child!

You would think that the government would ban all of these toxins in the manufacturing of toys. Unfortunately, however, they do NOT ban all of them. They do ban some of them, but more often than not, the ones they do ban are simply replaced by something equally toxic!

So.... how CAN savvy Mums protect their children from these toxins? The answer turns out to be rather simple: buy only ORGANIC soft toys.
                                        Organic Soft Toy Duck          Charlie Bears Organic Elephant           

The toxins that are allowed in the mass produced non-organic soft toys are NOT allowed in organic soft toys. Thus, if you buy only organic soft toys, you can protect your children from these harmful toxins.
The toxins in mass produced non-organic soft toys mostly come from three sources:

1. Highly Toxic Chemical Dyes
The bright colors found in most toys are achieved by using dangerous chemicals. These include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), benzene, and some of the worst offending heavy metals: mercury, cadmium, and lead. In fact, you sometimes end up with all of these in a single toy, making the overall toxic load in brightly colored toys extremely high. It should be noted that heavy metals are absorbed by children at a much faster rate than by adults. For example, while eleven percent of ingested lead is absorbed in the intestines of an adult on average, a whopping fifty percent is absorbed in the intestines of a child on average. Therefore, even a slight exposure to heavy metals in a child can be a dire situation.

You may not realize this but heavy metals from these dyes can remain in your house long after you remove the toxic toys. The reason for this is that heavy metal particles fall off the toxic toys and become entrapped in the dust particles in your house. Thus, if your toddler runs her fingers along the television screen, picks up dust, and then puts these dirty fingers in her mouth, she may be ingesting heavy metals! This is why it is a good idea to do a thorough house cleaning once you remove the toxic toys containing heavy metals from your house, especially in areas touched a lot by your children.

Unfortunately, some of the most adorable and popular of all the stuffed animals contain the highest levels of heavy metals! For example, Mr. Squiggles, a furry toy hamster that sweetly cooed when he wiggled, had one of the highest antimony levels ever found in any toy. It was produced in China where the regulations regarding toxins in toys are even more lax than in Europe and the United States. Antimony accumulates in the body and causes cancer, i.e. it is not something you want your child snuggling up to in bed!

What's a real shame is the fact that bright colors can be achieved in toys without the use of any toxins! In fact, brightly colored organic toys use no toxins. Colors like red, green, blue, orange, and yellow are made from non-toxic plants and garden variety vegetables! Browns, blacks, and rusts are made from natural clay soil.... and we all know children never die from eating dirt! It is simply not necessary to use toxins to create cheerful colors in toys. The only reason large toy manufacturers do so is to make more profit! But... the cost to your child's health could be lifelong and severe!

2. Toxic Fabrics
Many mass produced non-organic toys use synthetic coverings like toxic plastics or polyesters to cover their toys. When they do use natural fibers like cotton, they use conventionally grown cotton that has been sprayed heavily with toxic chemicals to ward off insects and fungi that like to eat cotton. They are also sprayed with other toxic chemicals to kill the weeds. Unfortunately, residues of these toxins end up in the cotton fabrics and fillings used to make soft toys. On the other hand, organic toys use 100 percent organic cotton grown without chemicals, or alternately, other eco-friendly organic fibers like hemp.

When you buy organic soft toys, you do your part to spare the environment the toxic herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, and synthetic fertilizers used to in the conventional farming of cotton. Instead, you pay a little extra because it takes more time and care to grow cotton organically. Organic cotton farmers must remove weeds by hand and utilize other sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, organic mulching, beneficial insects, and planting crops at lower densities. As your children grow older and start asking questions, you can take the opportunity to teach them about the benefits of organic farming over conventional farming using their organic soft toys as an example they will truly care about!

3. Toxic Stuffing
When you hand a kid a brand new stuffed animal, what do they usually do? Hug and squeeze it of course! They may also caress it with their tender cheek and then plant a big wet kiss on it! Then, that very same evening, you may find them sleeping with their little nose buried deep in its soft stuffing!

The problem with a child doing what comes natural with a non-organic stuffed animal is that the stuffing is often full of polyurethane foam (also known as PU foam) soaked with highly toxic flame retardants! The big toy manufacturers justify this practice because PU foam is so highly flammable -- yes, they COULD just simply choose a non-toxic stuffing that is not highly flammable but that would dip into their profits too much!
Flame retardants can have dire medical consequences for your little ones! In particular, they cause cancer, neurological damage, and endocrine disruption. Children exposed to flame retardants are more susceptible to developing ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, and mental retardation.

Organic soft toys are never stuffed with PU foam! Instead, they are stuffed with natural organic materials such as sheep's wool that are naturally flame retardant. There's nothing wrong with letting your kids sink their little noses down into soft clean sheep's wool!

You can protect your children from the multiple toxins added to most soft toys by making one change in your shopping habits: buy only ORGANIC soft toys. The dyes, fabrics, and stuffing used to make organic soft toys are nothing like what the mega toy manufacturers use in non-organic soft toys! Organic soft toys are NON-toxic and won't hurt your kids even if they are at that stage where all their toys end up in their mouth!