September 22, 2009
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko, PhD.
- Orange Coast Voice, Dec. 16, 2009
- Southern Sierran, Dec. 2009
- Fullerton Observer as A Few Less Toxins in Toyland, Nov. 2009, page 9
- San Fernando Valley Sierra Club newsletter, Nov. 2009
This is an updated version of Fewer Toxins in Toyland
that incorporates recently stalled legislation in California aimed at protecting young children from risky chemicals.
This holiday season, parents shopping for children can rest just a tad easier because of a recent California law restricting the use of toxic phthalate plasticizers in toys and childcare products made of plastic. Additional legislative efforts to rein in two other classes of chemicals suspected of posing health risks to youngsters, bisphenol A and halogenated flame retardants, emerged this year in the State Senate, although neither met with success.
But, perhaps the best news is that California has enacted laws establishing a groundbreaking precautionary approach to the oversight of chemicals that should soon make such painstaking chemical-by-chemical regulation a thing of the past.
Read the rest of this entry »
August 13, 2009
by Sarah (Steve) Mosko, PhD
Also see an update to this article, Too Fewer Toxins in Toyland, that incorporates
stalled legislation in California aimed at protecting young children from risky chemicals.
California has moved to restrict use of toxic phthalate plasticizers in PVC children's toys. Photo courtesy of Center for Environmental Health and Justice.
This holiday season, parents shopping for children can rest a tad easier because of a recent California law restricting the use of toxic phthalate plasticizers in toys and childcare products made of plastic. Additional classes of chemicals suspected of posing health risks to children, bisphenol A and halogenated flame retardants, could be reined in before long too, pending the fate of two struggling state senate bills.
But, perhaps the best news of all is that California has enacted laws establishing a groundbreaking precautionary approach to the oversight of all chemicals that should soon make painstaking chemical-by-chemical regulation a thing of the past.
Read the rest of this entry »
July 1, 2009
- San Fernando Valley Sierra Club newsletter, May-June, 2006 & July 2009
So You Like that “New Car Smell?” Think again.
(#10 of the Plastic Plague Series)
by Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
Your car’s interior is a major source of exposure to two classes of toxic chemicals, according to a first-of-its-kind report from the Ecology Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Titled Toxic At Any Speed, the study measured levels of PBDEs (flame retardants) and phthalates (used to soften plastics) in both interior car dust and windshield film samples from cars made by 11 leading auto manufacturers.
These chemicals exude from seat covers, instrument panels, floor coverings and other plastic parts. Studies in lab animals have linked exposure to a variety of health effects, Read the rest of this entry »
April 1, 2008
- Southern Sierran as Firefighters Back Ban on Flame Retardants, July 2008, page 2
- Orange Coast Voice as Toxic Flame Retardants: Ubiquitious but toxic BFRs are everywhere, even the Artic, April 2008, page 11
Firefighters Back Banning Controversial Flame Retardant
Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
BFRs are so ubiquitous that they are found in remote areas of the Artic and throughout the food chain, from zooplankton to dolphins and polar bears.
Your TV, mattress, couch and computer could be sources of man-made toxic chemicals building up in human tissues, including breast milk. Sounds crazy, but it’s not.
Many consumer products are imbued with a class of flame retardants considered by many to be bad news since they accumulate in fatty tissues, resist breakdown in the environment, and disrupt normal development in lab animals. They are called polybrominated diphenyl ethers or just brominated flame retardants (BFRs).
Introduced in the 1970’s, BFRs have become commonplace in upholstery foam, textiles and electronics because synthetic materials, like petroleum-based plastics, are generally more flammable. BFRs impede the spread of fire bycreating a layer of bromine gas around a heated product, keeping oxygen at bay. They comprise up to 30% of an item’s weight and migrate out over time into air, dust, and soil. Read the rest of this entry »
October 1, 2007
Click here for updated posting.
Toxins in Toyland
A Scientist’s Timely Caveat Emptor
By Sarah S. Mosko, Ph.D.
Scientists are concerned about toxins in toys.
It’s easy to blame China for the recent brouhaha over popular imported toys containing lead, a toxic heavy metal known to cause a myriad of developmental abnormalities including inattention/hyperactivity, learning deficiencies and delayed growth.
After all, the month of August 2007 alone saw a spate of five separate recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) for Chinese-made toys and another by Toys Я Us for imported vinyl baby bibs, all illegally containing lead in paints or inks (lead brightens the colors). Well-known toy importers Mattel, Fisher-Price and Schylling all made the recall lists.
Yet, a number of respected scientists are voicing strident concerns about toys and other products for children that contain other perfectly legal chemicals that might also be unsafe for young children. The discovery of lead in toys could be just the tip of an iceberg. What follows is an overview of what, beyond lead, has some scientists worried. Read the rest of this entry »