On Wednesday, Greenpeace said it urged government officials to ban certain children’s toys containing toxins that were being sold in mainland China and Hong Kong.
The environmental group said it hired an independent group to test the toys, and found that 21 of 30 toy samples bought from four different Chinese cities had phthalates, which are used to soften plastics but can also cause hormone malfunctions and reproductive problems. All the toys tested were manufactured from mainland Chinese companies.
In the United States and the European Union, six types of phthalates have already banned in children’s products and toys.
“Governments in the EU and North America have all recognized the serious health concerns of phthalates for children, yet in China and Hong Kong, kids are unprotected from these harmful toxins,” said Vivian Yau, a Greenpeace campaigner.
Greenpeace is urging Hong Kong to adopt the same policies that the United States and the European Union have implemented against phthalates in children’s products.
“Children are one of the most vulnerable groups to hormone disruptor’s — they like to put things in their mouths, and their reproductive, immune and endocrine systems are still developing,” Yau added in a statement.
They are also pushing for a regulatory system to be formed to eliminate the dangers posed to health and the environment from the use of these chemicals in toys and other products.
Chinese-made toys have been called into question through a series of scandals in the last couple of years, including the recall of millions of “Aqua dots” in the United States and “Bindeez” in Australia.
Photo Credit: www.state.nj.us/humanservices/opmrdd/images/photo_library/phthlates/baby_teethingring.jpg