Secondhand toys might have a special place in your heart or hold special meaning for your family, but they can also pose a health risk to kids, according to a new study. Specifically, researchers found that plastic used in secondhand toys could potentially pose a risk to children's health because it might not meet the most up-to-date international safety guidelines.
The research, published in <a target="blank" href="http://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.est.7b04685">Environmental Science and Technology_, studied 200 used plastic toys found in homes, nurseries, and charity shops in England. These toys included cars, trains, construction products, figures, and puzzles — all of which could easily be chewed by young kids. Alarmingly, the researchers discovered high concentrations of hazardous elements like antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead, and selenium — elements that are chronically toxic to kids at low levels over an extended period of time.
The researchers explained that secondhand toys are an "attractive option" for many families because they could be inherited from relatives or close friends or bought for a low price from markets or online. However, they said those same consumers should be made aware of the potential risks of chemical contamination with these used toys.
Even though this study took place in England, it's worth noting that the standards for toy safety in the U.S. have changed greatly over the years. For that reason, consider buying new plastic toys for kids or grandkids — especially if they're still at that age where they're prone to chewing on their playthings.
For more information about current toy safety standards in the U.S., check out the requirements at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website.
Let's all do our part to help keep our little ones safe!
h/t Eureka Alert
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