Toxic free products for children - What’s the problem?
Many toys contain synthetic substances, which are known to be hazardous to children’s health. These include for instance softeners used in plastic toys, which can disrupt the hormone system, formaldehyde used in glued wooden puzzles, which can cause cancer, or flame retardants in teddy bears that can be toxic to development. Independent tests confirm that almost all of those hazardous chemicals can be substituted by safer alternatives.
Children absorb more hazardous chemicals than an adult. Their immune and nervous systems are still developing. Hazardous chemicals are also found in cosmetics, furniture and other everyday products. So children are exposed to a variety of hazardous chemicals from many different sources. Even the smallest amounts of hazardous chemicals are sufficient to harm the development of a child – sometimes with lifelong consequences. The increasing allergy and cancer rates demonstrate this.
Are there laws that protect?
The EU-wide Toys Directive and the European chemicals legislation, REACH, do not sufficiently protect our children because many hazardous chemicals are still allowed. Also, toy manufacturers are not required to list the chemicals used in the making of the toy, even if hazardous chemicals are present.
WECF works on national and international levels to protect children’s health by initiating and supporting a world free of toxic and unsafe toys. WECF works on a national level in France, Germany and the Netherlands to strengthen national regulation and labels on toys, on the EU level to enhance the Toys Safety Directive and related regulation, and on the international level in the “Safe Toys Coalition.”The Safe Toys Coalition addresses decision makers, producers, retailers and the public on national, regional and international level and helps consumers make informed decisions about the products they buy.
Safe Toys Coalition
The coalition was created by WECF and Eco Accord, alongside a group of international health and environment non-governmental organisations, who formed a new working group to ensure safe toys for the healthy future of children.
The campaign is aimed at anyone or any organisation concerned or working in the area of children‘s environment and health. If you would like to become part of the Safe Toys Coalition, please send an email to Alexandra Caterbow (firstname.lastname@example.org). Further information can be found on the special Safe Toys website with links to documents, publications, and NGO activities on toys www.safetoyscoalition.org.
- French Toys Guide
- English Toys Guide
- Dutch Toys Guide
- German Toys Guide
- Chinese Toys Guide
- Greek Toys Guide
- Macedonian Toys Guide
- Estonian Toys Guide
- Serbian Toys Guide
- Safe Toys Coalition Common Statement
- Inventory Serbia
- Inventory Macedonia
Events & Policy Activities
- ARTE Themanabend: Gift im Spielzeug. Dec 18th 2012 (in German)
- WECF pushes for stronger Toys Safety Directive. Jan 25th, 2012
- Toys in a Black List of Products, Containing Carcinogenic Chemicals. Jan 11th, 2012
- Thousands in Support of Toxic-free Children’s Toys in Armenia and Kyrgyzstan. Jan 9th, 2012
- Toxic Baby Shampoo: Johnson & Johnson Agrees to Global Reformulation Under Pressure from Health Groups. Dec 1st, 2011
- Videos: Safe Toys for Safe Childhood. Dec 1st, 2011
- Albanian Voice Conference “International Cooperation in Hazardous Substances and Product Safety in the Balkans“ results in concrete action of Albanian authorities. Nov 16th, 2011
- Multi-stakeholder Training on Product Safety in Skopje, Macedonia. Nov 15th, 2011
- Toy Test Results of France, Netherlands and Germany, and French and Netherland events. Nov 2011
- Spoilsports! Chemicals of concern in toys. Oct 19th, 2011
- EECCA NGO Appeal on toys safety. Oct 19th, 2011
- Environment for Europe Process. Sept 23rd, 2011
- Journalists Workshop for Toys Safety in Skopje Macedonia. May 27, 2011
- WECF partners' interviews on the Product Safety. Mar 12th, 2011
- WECF Toys Conference in Paris. Nov 2010
- Toy Conference in Berlin. Nov 2010
- Toxic toys - International Toy Fair in Nuremberg. Feb 5th, 2010
- Giving birth to the Safe Toys Coalition: International Toys Training in Bavaria, November, and follow-up work until March 2010
Baltic Info Campaign on Hazardous Substances
The overall goal of the project is to initiate a stronger demand at the society in the three Baltic States for products free of hazardous substances via awareness raising activities. You can find more information on the BEF
This project, identifies the needs of consumers, politics and the economy in this area and presents best practices that will improve the protection of health and the environment. The three countries, Serbia, Macedonia, and Albania, have successful increased awareness and influenced policy change regarding Toy safety. You kind find more information on the “Product and Chemical Safety in the Balkans”
Jouets et substances chimiques : la nouvelle réglementationva-t-ellemieuxprotéger les enfants et rassurer les parents?
The Nesting Project
On our website you can find more information about how to create a toxic free environment for your baby in 8 different languages.