San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 13, 2006
GreenHome.com (http://www.greenhome.com), the online superstore for all environmentally friendly products and services, recommends that as children make their Christmas wish lists for toys, "Santa" provides eco-friendly presents this holiday season.
"Every year, over 5,000 new toys enter the market place, with over 150,000 different kinds of toys for sale in approximately one million stores this holiday season," says environmental safety expert and Green Home founder Lawrence Comras. "Despite efforts that manufactures and safety inspectors make, many toys escape inspection. However, parents, relatives and other adults can check every new toy a child may receive for possible hazards," Comras adds.
Comras suggests avoiding plastic in purchasing, and giving non-toxic and safe toys to the infants, children and teenagers on your holiday gift list this year. Avoiding plastic is the main way to avoid risking your children's health. Look for toys made from traditional and eco-friendly materials like wood, cloth, clay ceramic and metal, many of which are for sale on Greenhome.com.
Plastic toys are almost always made of poly vinyl chloride (PVC). PVC is cheap and easy to make and as a result, is one of the most widespread ingredients in toy manufacture. PVC is commonly used in teethers and soft squeeze toys for young children, beach balls, bath toys, dolls and other products, such as knapsacks, raincoats, and umbrellas.
Why is PVC bad? PVC has dangerous chemicals that can leak out, get swallowed by babies and enter their bloodstream. PVC is made softer and more flexible by the addition of 'softeners'. These are not chemically bound to PVC and float around, ready to be ingested by chewing children.
PVC often uses softeners, called phthalaltes, which are known to cause damage to the kidneys, as well as the liver and sex organs. Testing has shown that some children's teething and other toys contain up to 40 per cent phthalates. Bottom line: Be safe. Look for non-plastic toys for your children that may still be of chewing age.
Lego, IKEA and Nike have pledged to make all of their products PVC-free. Mattel, Hasbro and Disney are yet to do so. A move by the European Union to impose a temporary ban was scuttled by the powerful American toys lobby, which has also prevented their own government from doing anything concrete.
The story doesn't end here. There are more ways in which a toy can slowly harm your child's health. Scientists have also found that toys have dangerous levels of lead and cadmium in them. A child doesn't have to chew on a toy for it to be harmful. Lick it. Suck it. Or even inhale it, and damage can be done. Lead causes damage to the nervous system and brain. Cadmium on the other hand may even cause cancer.
Green Home's suggestions to avoid PVC and lead include:
- Choose carefully. Look for good design and quality construction in all toys you buy. The more disposable the toy, the more likely it's toxic.
- Be a label reader. Look for safety information such as "Not recommended for children under 3 years of age," or "non-toxic" on toys likely to end up in children's mouths, or "washable/hygienic materials" on stuffed toys and dolls.
- Look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) seal on electrical toys. It indicates the electrical parts have been tested for safety. But remember, almost all electrical cords sold in the US contain lead, and chewing on these cords is dangerous not only due to risks of electrocution, but risks of lead poisoning.
This year, Green Home has increased its product offerings to include thousands of eco-conscious holiday gifts. Green Home offers visitors a huge variety of stylish and useful presents, from LED holiday lights to organic cotton bedding, towels, and clothing, to sustainably made wooden toys. And because Green Home certifies each product's environmental claims, shoppers can be sure that the products are not only attractive and high quality, but also meet rigorous environmental, or green standards.
A selection of Green Home's holiday gift offerings for children include:
- dolls made from soysilk, a super-soft by-product of soybeans;
- games that teach about the rainforest made from all-recycled materials;
- inexpensive organic cotton stuffed animals and toys;
- non-toxic art supplies; and
- a wide selection of organic cotton clothing for kids.
Gifts for adults include:
- colorful wall clocks made from reused plastic bottles
- stylish-looking composter that fits in your kitchen
- designer-made solar charger for laptops and cell phones
- hemp clothing, travel accessories, and shower curtains
- plush bright white spa bathrobe from 100% organic cotton
- gorgeous recycled glass champagne flutes
- all-natural rubber yoga mats
Green Home has thousands of other gifts, too. There are even 'green' pet accessories.
"If you really want to show somebody you love them, get them a healthy, sustainable, non-toxic product - one that protects their own personal environment. That's the Green Home for the Holidays concept," said Green Home founder Comras. "There are high quality, inexpensive green alternatives for any product we use daily, and Green Home offers just about all of them under one roof."
About Green Home
Headquartered in San Francisco, CA, Green Home is a privately held company whose Web site targets consumers interested in ecologically sound products and a healthy home environment. The Web site can be accessed at http://www.greenhome.com. Currently, the site offers products in more than 150 categories. Local green services, from energy usage monitoring to finding a local recycling center are also available by entering a ZIP code. The site also features useful information and articles written by some of the country's leading authors and experts in the areas of healthy and environmental living. For more information call 1-877-282-6400 or visit on-line at http://www.greenhome.com.