"Toys, Décor, and More: Evidence of Hazardous Electronic Waste Recycled into New Consumer Products"
Journal of Environmental Protection, 2016, vol. 7, 341-350.
By Gillian Z. Miller, Meghanne E. Tighe, Graham F. Peaslee, Karla Peña, and Jeff Gearhart
Read the full text here
This study on toxic chemicals in children’s car seats was released in June 2015 by the nonprofit Ecology Center at www.HealthyStuff.org. Nearly three-quarters (73%) of seats purchased and tested in 2014 contained hazardous halogenated flame retardants and over half contained non-halogenated organophosphate flame retardants, some of which are hazardous as well. The study finds that the flame retardant chemicals and alternatives used by companies are poorly regulated, putting consumers at risk, and questions the fire safety benefit of using these chemicals.
A new study found that most vinyl flooring tested contained toxic phthalates, a number of which have been banned in children’s products since 2009. The flooring samples tested were purchased from major home improvement retailers including Lowe’s and Lumber Liquidators. Researchers found that, of 65 vinyl flooring tiles tested, 38 (58 percent), contained phthalates.
In conjunction with the Campaign for Healthier Solutions, HealthyStuff tested 164 products purchased at four major discount retailers—Dollar General, Dollar Tree, Family Dollar, and 99 Cents Only—and found toxic chemicals in a majority of tested products.
HealthyStuff.org tested 69 seasonal holiday products purchased in November 2014 from major retailers. More than two-thirds of the products contained at least one hazardous chemical at levels of concern. Beaded garlands were found to contain a multitude of toxic contaminants, mirroring the results from our 2013 study of beaded garlands.
HealthyStuff.org tested 106 Halloween related products, including costumes, accessories, decorations and party favors. Our testing found heavy metals and other additives are commonly found in Halloween costumes and accessories. These chemicals include lead, flame retardants, tin compounds and phthalates -- harmful chemicals that are linked to asthma, reproductive problems, developmental and learning disabilities, hormone problems and cancer.
For this study, HealthyStuff.org tested 101 children’s school supplies, including a variety of backpacks, binders, lunch boxes, pencil pouches and rulers. These products were purchased from 8 national retailers: CVS, Dollar Tree Stores, Inc., Kroger, Meijer, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.
April 16, 2014 — Healthystuff.org purchased pet products, children’s products, and other home goods from Walgreens stores and tested the products for hazardous chemicals, including arsenic, lead, bromine, chlorine, mercury and cadmium. The study is part of ongoing research at HealthyStuff on harmful chemicals in consumer products that are sold by each of the top ten U.S. retailers. Previous results can be viewed by retailer at the HealthyStuff.org Retailer Center.
December 20, 2013 — HealthyStuff.org wraps up 2013 with a new study that continues to show how toxic chemicals are found in a range of consumer products. This winter screening joins a series of studies HealthyStuff.org has released in the past months showing how toxic chemicals continue to lurk in everyday consumer products.