Toxic chemicals in popular baby toys could harm children’s brain development, study finds
TOXIC chemicals found in plastic toys and electronic gadgets can interfere with children’s brain development, research shows.
Exposure to even low levels of organophosphate esters (OPEs), which are designed to make products flame retardant, can affect young people’s IQ, attention and memory.
The chemicals are used in many toys, smartphones, strollers, mattresses and furniture.
Dr Heather Patisaul, Carolina State University, said, “The use of organophosphate esters in everything from televisions to car seats has proliferated under the false assumption that they are safe.
“Unfortunately, these chemicals appear to be just as harmful as the chemicals they are meant to replace, but they work through a different mechanism.
“Organophosphate esters threaten the brain development of an entire generation. If we do not stop their use now, the consequences will be serious and irreversible.
“In many products, they do not perform any essential function while posing a serious risk, especially for our children. “
OPEs are used in many consumer products to meet fire safety regulations.
Previous studies have shown that OPEs can be transferred from a product, such as a smartphone, to a person’s face and hands, and into their body.
Tests have even found OPEs present in breast milk, which means they can be transferred directly to a nursing baby.
The new study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, concluded that OPEs should be eliminated or reduced “as quickly as possible.”
He said: “Alternatives should be evaluated for essential uses and investments made in developing innovative solutions without the use of harmful chemicals.
“Based on scientific research and education, government and business should be able to rapidly reduce new uses of OPEs for healthier products, people and ecosystems. “
It comes after a new report found that almost half of the toys sold online could be fatal to your child.
He followed a two-year-old girl who was left in critical condition after swallowing 14 magnets, believing them to be candy.
Becca McCarthy swallowed the brightly colored balls bought on eBay when Mum Sam wasn’t looking. She had to have her bowels removed in order to get the toys out.
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