Friday, March 15, 2013

Do Toys Really Need To Be Labeled Non-Toxic?

Dear Toy Makers Everywhere, Including China,

Is labeling toys "non-toxic" similar to labeling soap "antibacterial"? They are all non-toxic, yes?

I ask because, today, from two feet away, I heard my little boy banging something into the pristine, newly painted white wall. It was a red stamper that immigrated from China to the $1 bin at Target. We had fun stamping Valentines for Dad and now it's one of his season's accessory. A rock is the other one, but his archaeological tendencies are not the topic of today's letter.
The Toxic Stamps.

When I started the futile effort of explaining the wall is not for stamps, I noticed he his lipstick.

He sucked on the stamper and produced quite a little Geisha effect using his Chinese tool. Once I'd removed all evidence of the red ink from the wall and from him, I laughed and moved on.

Later, a nagging feeling about China factory standards lead me to the stamp package. I was certain I'd locate the "non-toxic" label. Guess what? There isn't one.

Is this some crazy toy industry loophole that if it doesn't say non-toxic, it IS toxic?

Please discuss. Am I the only naive parent who assumes toys are non-toxic without the non-toxic stamp?

Nice play on words, right? Let's hope I own a non-toxic stamp.

Sincerely,
annie

8 comments:

  1. I mostly assume that they aren't, but even when they clearly state they aren't, I still worry. Crayons, for example. Non-toxic. Won't hurt them if ingested, but it does turn their poop funny colors. I still don't let The Boy eat them. Why? Because I'm of the opinion that everything can be dangerous if you get too much of it and since I have no way of knowing what "too much" crayon is, I'd rather not find out! This is not to say I'm overprotective...I don't think I am...I just don't let him eat the crayons!

    Not all things are labeled as non-toxic even if they aren't, though, I don't think. I'm not one for playing that guessing game - detergent, for example, does not say it IS toxic, but it will most definitely make you very sick. So common sense with a dose of "better to be safe". One would think, however, that all children's items would be non-toxic, knowing that children put every damn thing in their mouth.

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    1. Exactly! Are there any crazy toy manufacturers that make toxic toys?? Seems wrong.

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  2. Not a mother yet but I am a teacher of little people and I think while its not ideal to be eating ink like that its probably ok. Surely when creating such things all manner of possible situations are taken into account. Admittedly I haven't thought about it too much either and when I get my baby I bet my ideas will change!

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    1. I think it's ok, it just makes me stop and wonder why some are labeled non-toxic and other seem to forget the label. In advertising, you only shout about the good things and toxicity would definitely be bad!

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  3. I'm sure he will be fine, but I wouldn't assume non-toxic. Poison control is an excellent resource and could provide you great guidance. The thing about things from China....even if they label it non-toxic, it wouldn't necessarily mean that it is. In the industry I work in, Chinese companies copy American products...and will include the stampings and everything, even if they don't meet the standards. Hugs to you, we have all been in that freak out moment when the tiny one put something they shouldn't in their mouth. ;)

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    1. Yes and I figure a little tiny bit of toxicity will only make him stronger. And now, I have a legitimate excuse to throw them out that is much less vain than "they will ruin our new white walls!"

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  4. I totally buy into the "I'm not going to worry about it unless you clearly state that I should" camp. Mainly because I don't have time to look crap up and my child seems to ingest EVERYTHING and secondly, because I'm lazy. I always figure if it's important, I'll hear about it on facebook. Right? :)

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    1. Yes, fb has all the answers. That's where I get my news. New pope? FB told me so.

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