Toxins: Toys to Toothpaste


Toxins: Toys to Toothpaste


Pete Myers



Pete Myers, Founder, CEO and Chief Scientist of Environmental Health Sciences

From toys to raincoats to perfumes, toxins in today’s American household are found in unexpected places. These harmful substances migrate from homes to hospitals where they are found in the tubing of medical equipment and may even affect infants in the womb by way of the umbilical cord. Exposure can come from dust in the air or from plasticized coverings. According to studies from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), children ingest more than 120 chemicals on a daily basis. Most of these chemicals are absorbed through the skin and mouth. For example, plastic rubber duckies floating in children’s bathtubs contain high levels of toxins. Babies and children develop at faster rates than adults, which leads to greater vulnerability to chemicals. An adult’s body is able to resist and overcome many of the toxins found in everyday plastic products, but a baby’s body is a blank canvas, open to everything it ingests. A child’s development can also be directly tied to the toxins in toys. Links have been found between these chemicals and colds, ear infections, allergies, and behavioral changes in children. Lead is one of the most abundant substances in the lives of adults. The legacy of lead in housing, soil and water often creates unacceptably high exposure levels to adults. The Departments of Human Services, Health and Senior Services, and Community Affairs work together closely to address these issues and to protect citizens from poisonous substances.

Publication Date



Toxic Equipment, Toxins

Toxins: Toys to Toothpaste