Toxic Toys -- Now What?

Christmas tree

Photo by 3lilmonsters411

I just don't know what to do with information like this:

According to a report on, one of every three toys we buy for our children at popular stores, including Target, Babies R Us, and Wal-Mart, contain toxic chemicals such as lead, flame retardants, and arsenic.

Of course, the toy industry is quick to jump in and say hogwash.

"Toys are a highly regulated industry that has been subject to even more intense scrutiny -- from industry, retailers, government and consumer organizations -- in the past 18 months," the Toy Industry Association said in a statement.

But what's even more baffling is the response from folks who found those bad things in the toys in the first place:


"Our hope is that by empowering consumers with this information, manufacturers and lawmakers will feel the pressure to start phasing out the most harmful substances immediately, and to change the nation's laws to protect children from highly toxic chemicals," said Ecology Center's Jeff Gearhart, who led the research, in a written release, reported by

Well, that's fine and dandy. I hope laws change, too. But how does this information empower me right now? Is there a kit I can buy to test which toys have the stuff and which don't? Which toys should I steer clear of specifically? Do I just tell my kids they aren't going to get any toys for the holidays?

The answers I'm getting? "Nope," "no," and "not sure."

I wish I had some helpful advice to offer, but as I see it, moms have two options as we head into the final holiday shopping stretch: believe the toy makers, or pray our kids don't get contaminated. Pretty crappy options in my view.

Which one will you take?

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