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Is Canada becoming a dumping ground for toxic toys?

This CBC report doesn’t bode well for Canadian residents. A 2007 survey of vinyl plastic toys by Health Canada found that 76% of the toys contained phthalate levels that are above the amounts allowed in the US and European Union. The toxic diethylhexyl phthalate (DEHP) is especially prevalent – found in about 60% of the toys surveyed. This year won’t be any different, say sceptics.

Environmentalists claim that Canada is becoming a dumping ground for products rejected by other countries for toxicological reasons. They claim that Canadian laws and regulations for consumer products are much weaker than the neighboring US or countries across the Atlantic. China is especially notorious for toy recalls and producing products with high phthalate content.

This comes in the wake of the “death” of Phthalate Control Act, a bill that was supposed to ban phthalates but didn’t go through federal approval.

To compensate, Health Canada is rushing to draft the new guidelines for phthalate content of plastic toys: However, it is doubtful whether the new guidelines will be in place well in time for the Christmas shopping season.

Phthalates have been linked to health problems in children, including type 2 diabetes, genital malformation in boys, and cancer.


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