How Can I Find Out Which Toys in My Home Have Phthalates?

How can I find out which toys in my home have phthalates? Are there certain brands that are particularly harmful?

Gina Solomon responds:

Unfortunately, there is no home test kit or lab you can send your toys to for testing. Some manufacturers made pledges to phase out the use of phthalates in their toys several years before the recent ban, but this was a voluntary measure and there was no universal implementation date.

Plastic toys and children's products that are vinyl or soft and squishy plastic are most likely to contain phthalates. When in doubt about a particular toy, contact the manufacturer—or simply dispose of the toy and replace it with something known to be nontoxic.

As you can imagine, we receive many questions about plastics—Which are safe for food storage? Are there any that are safe for kids? What do the resin codes mean? and so on—so we have put together a summary sheet, Plastics FAQs, which I urge you to read. It should help you find safer products for your home and family.

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