Phthalates, Plastics, and Baby Toys


As reported by the Chicago Tribune earlier this week, the journal Pediatrics just announced new evidence that a common additive in baby toys may be linked to future reproductive damage in infants. The additive is a class of polymers known as phthalates. These chemicals are generally used to soften plastic, or to make products feel more smooth and creamy.

Common baby products with phthalates are baby shampoos, lotions, powders, and of course, soft plastic toys that babies love to chew. Yikes. While the possible dangers of this additive have been known for quite some time (check out the Wikipedia article on the health risks of phthalates), the US Food and Drug Administration has not made a move yet.

Well, until the results come in, there are ways to lessen your baby’s exposure to these toxins just in case. High on that list is to look into the plastic chewable toys in your home. PVC plastics are most likely the ones with these additives.

Also, steering clear of scented baby lotions and shampoos is probably a good idea. Phthalates are used to retain scent and color, as well as aid in skin absorption. Switching to organic lotions and shampoos, and using home remedies such as olive oil and coco butter, are safe and natural ways to take control of your baby’s toxicity levels.


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  1. Plus, what about all those toys from China where they contained unacceptable levels of lead. I’ve seen batches of remote control toy cars returned for that very reason from suppliers. Even though lead levels would not harm anyone unless they sucked on the toy non-stop for weeks it’s still one of the most hazardous materials still being found on some toys, and not just from the far east.

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