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IPEN

A Toxics-Free Future

Waste

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No HazMat for the Holidays:
Children’s Toys and Hair Accessories on the EU Market Contain Toxic Chemicals

(Gotebörg, Sweden) Dangerous levels of toxic industrial chemicals have been found in children’s toys and hair accessories sold in the EU. The Stockholm Convention , a global, legally-binding chemical treaty, allows PBDEs — toxins that are so dangerous they are banned from new production — to enter the recycling stream and end up in the toys in children’s hands. The circular economy, say environmental health researchers, is contaminated by dangerous flame retardant chemicals.

Researchers from Arnika , an environmental health research NGO in the Czech Republic, tested a total of 41 products (16 children’s toys and 31 grooming and hair accessories) for brominated flame retardants, a class of chemicals associated with impacts on nervous system development, thyroid disruption, memory and learning problems, lower IQ, reduced fertility, and other impacts.

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Geneva: Today at the Stockholm Convention 8th Conference of the Parties (COP8), governments rushed thru decisions to list two toxic chemicals, but provided extraordinary loopholes that permit all uses of them. The chemicals are DecaBDE, a flame retardant commonly found in electronic waste, and SCCPs, an industrial chemical used in metal working and as a flame retardant in plastics.1 Both chemicals are persistent, highly toxic, travel long distances and build up in the food chain. Recent IPEN studies found both substances widely present in children’s toys.2

“Delegates made a mockery of the theme of the meeting, “A Future Detoxified,” said Dr. Mariann Lloyd-Smith, IPEN Sr. Advisor. “Today’s decisions guarantee harmful worker exposures, poisonous children’s toys, contaminated recycling streams, and more waste dumping. The real theme of the meeting seems to be “A Future De-Toxified.”

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