Study finds that forever chemicals could be present in some children’s products 

When shopping for children’s toys, there are still safety risks to consider with some products. Now, a study has found that some toys could contain harmful chemicals. 

The recent investigation by the American Chemical Society looked  into the potential hazards faced by children due to exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), commonly known as “forever chemicals.”

These compounds are frequently used in packaging, but the study found that they are also being used in many toys labeled as water-resistant or stain-resistant. 

Despite the harmful effects of exposure to PFAS, companies in the US are not always obligated to disclose their usage. In some cases, they may even claim that their products are non-toxic or environmentally friendly in some cases. 

To assess the risks to children, researchers examined 93 items aimed at children across bedding, clothing, and furnishings categories. These products were marketed as water or stain-resistant and were labeled as non-toxic or environmentally safe.

They found that 54 out of the 93 products contained fluorine, indicating PFAS presence. Among these, 19 contained PFAS precursor compounds, which can convert into perfluoroalkyl acids within the human body upon oxidation. Additionally, 18 of the 54 fluorine-positive products contained detectable levels of PFAS.

Alarmingly, products containing PFAS or its precursor compounds were advertised as stain, water, or leak-resistant, claiming to be free from toxic substances and officially certified as environmentally friendly.

 This poses a significant risk to children’s long-term health, as the certification process for “green” products lacks thoroughness, and companies are often not required to disclose all toxins and chemicals.

The researchers also pointed out the urgent need to eliminate these chemicals from children’s products, as they can heighten the risk of various health issues in young children. Inhalation or ingestion of PFAS can elevate the likelihood of developing diseases. 

The researchers noted: “This study illustrates many nonessential uses of PFAS in products used by children and adolescents and suggests that while water- and stain-resistant assurances can identify products likely to contain PFAS, current green assurances do not consistently indicate the absence of PFAS.” 

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