They Say ‘Hand Me Down’ Toys Are Bad For Your Kids

Some research discovered that old toys, maybe given as second-hand, might contain elements that don’t meet modern standards.

By nowproducerdave on January 29, 2018
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Long story short, it has to do with chemical content, and how they’re dangerous compared to today’s standards.

Some researchers took it upon themselves to study some-200 toys from various day cares, schools, and homes, and discovered that about 10 percent of those toys contained “dangerous” levels of various chemicals. They noted that the red and yellow colored Lego pieces were the highest offender, saying that there were “unsafe” in regard to the amount of cadmium that was found in the toys. Yes, cadmium the metal.

They mostly tested toys that could be swallowed or lodged somewhere, and found that many of them contained trace amounts of antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium. Most notably, toys that were colored blue, red, or yellow were the ones to likely have some level of something in them. Tests were done, one of which was done in a “simulated stomach.” The toys were dropped into a mixture of diluted hydrochloric acid, which is found naturally in our stomach, and the amount of gasses released by the toys was measured, along with what was leftover from the acid. That’s where they found these elements.

But, over the years there have been new standards put into place, and the “safe level” of those elements has constantly been decreasing according to the newer standards, so new toys in those colors are safe. We’re not sure that calling the older toys “unsafe” is really warranted, but we’re not scientists. From the sounds of it, they’re saying “unsafe” just because the old toys don’t meet modern standards. It’s not like our kids are eating chips of lead paint or anything like that. I think the biggest concern would be just how dirty second-hand toys are, not so much the levels of trace elements in them.

The same researcher, by the way, has been involved in other studies that found decorative drinking glasses also can contain lead and cadmium as well, so to be totally honest, tiny trace elements are in pretty much anything we touch on a daily basis.


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