Lourdes Salvador's Column
...Co-founder of MCS America discusses the latest Multiple Chemical Sensitivity issues.
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Scented Toys Pose a Risk to Children
by Lourdes Salvador
According to new research, scented toys may pose a risk to children.
Considerable amounts of the toxic synthetic chemicals and allergens that fragrances are made from are easily absorbed by lung tissue when children breathe air contaminated by fragrances.
Ian Masuck and colleagues say, "In the revised European toy safety directive 2009/48/EC the application of fragrance allergens in children's toys is restricted."
But, in the United States fragrance is freely added to many things children are exposed to, including cleaners, air fresheners, personal care products, clothing, and bandages.
Often the concentration of actual exposure is larger that scientists realize. For example, a child may play with a scented toy on a floor recently cleaned with a scented cleanser in an air freshened room.
Masuck says, "The emission of fragrance allergens from scented toys depends on the temperature and on the content of fragrance allergens present." Warmer temperatures increase emissions and exposure.
"Scent is a completely unnecessary addition to toys," says Lourdes Salvador of MCS America. "It has nothing to do with the function of a toy and everything to do with branding at the expense of our children´s health."
MCS America advises parents to purchase toys without scent. In fact, MCS America advises people to limit fragrance from their lives altogether and shares these facts about fragrances:
There are 3,000 5,000 chemicals used in fragrance.
95% of these chemicals are derived from petroleum.
Over 80% of the chemicals in fragrance have not been tested for human toxicity.
Some of the chemicals found in fragranced products are on the EPA hazardous waste list.
The perfume industry is not regulated by any government agency and is not required to disclose the ingredients in "fragrance".
The National Academy of Sciences targeted fragrances as one of the six categories of chemicals that should be given high priority for neurotoxicity testing.
Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA). Fragrance Free! Creating a Safe Health Care Environment. Courseserver.com. 2007.
Masuck I, Hutzler C, Luch A. Investigations on the emission of fragrance allergens from scented toys by means of headspace solid-phase microextraction gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. J Chromatogr A. 2010 Apr 30;1217(18):3136-43. Epub 2010 Mar 4.
Steinemann AC. Fragranced consumer products and undisclosed ingredients. Environ Impact Asses Rev (2008), doi:10.1016/j.eiar.2008.05.002.
For more articles on this topic, see: MCSA News.
Copyrighted 2010 Lourdes Salvador & MCS America