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It’s that time of year again when stores slash prices on many popular gadgets, gizmos and toys, bringing droves of families to retail stores for some early holiday shopping. It’s also that time of year when activists try to convince you that many of the products swept off the store shelves are bad for you – or worse, bad for your children.
According to the Toy Industry Association, “All toys sold in the U.S., regardless of where they are made, must be tested to verify compliance with rigorous U.S. toy safety requirements.”
While some precautions should always be taken when purchasing a product for your little ones, there are some concerns out there, like chemicals in products, that should not distract you from far more serious risks, like choking hazards. When it comes to chemistry, more than a dozen federal laws, overseen by the EPA, FDA and others, create a safety net to oversee the safe use of chemical products. It’s also important to keep in mind that dose matters. Just because a chemical is used in a product, detectible even in the smallest doses, it doesn’t mean it’s harmful to your health. As the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explain, “The presence of a chemical does not imply disease. The levels or concentrations of the chemical are more important determinants of the relation to disease, when established in appropriate research studies, than the detection or presence of a chemical” (CDC, 2005).
Below, we’ve put together some information about phthalates, a family of chemicals that activists like to pick on during the holiday season.
The key takeaway here is to keep risk in perspective, exercise precaution during the holiday rush, and of course, make sure you deliver on your child’s holiday expectations!
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