Polyvinly chloride, otherwise known as PVC, is considered the most toxic plastic for our health and environment; so much that it has been nicknamed the “Poison Plastic”. It is used to make everything from flooring and piping to medical devices and food packaging — and yes, children’s toys.
Pure PVC is 57% chlorine, a toxic substance whose production generates substantial pollution. PVC is the only plastic made with chlorine. In addition, PVC requires toxic additives, including heavy metals such as lead, endocrine-disrupting phthalates, and toxic flame retardants in order to be made into stable and usable consumer products. These additives are released during both the use and disposal of PVC products.
Phthalates are chemicals used to soften or plasticize PVC products, which through use can be released into the air. The phthalates cling to dust and can then be breathed in by humans. Congress has banned the use of phthalates in toys. However, phthalates in school supplies, flooring and other products still threaten the health of children. Studies have linked PVC and phthalates to respiratory problems.
BPA stands for bisphenol A. It is an industrial chemical that has been used to make certain plastics and resins since the 1960s.
BPA is found in polycarbonate plastics (including PVC) and epoxy resins. Polycarbonate plastics are often used in containers that store food and beverages, such as water bottles. They may also be used in other consumer goods.
Epoxy resins are used to coat the inside of metal products, such as food cans, bottle tops and water supply lines. Some dental sealants and composites also may contain BPA.
Some research has shown that BPA can seep into food or beverages from containers that are made with BPA. Exposure to BPA is a health concern because of possible effects on the brain, behavior and prostate gland of fetuses, infants and children. Additional research suggests a possible link between BPA and increased blood pressure.
Look for products that are labeled as PVC-free and BPA-free. Otherwise check the product directly. PVC is marked with the recycling code 3 or the letters “PVC”. And some, but not all, plastics marked with recycling codes 3 or 7 may be made with BPA.
Look for American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) label. This means that the toy meets US safety standards.
QUADRO is PVC-free and therefore contains no phthalates. We use poly propylene which is considered a safe plastic that is BPA-free. It is identified by the recycling code 5 or the letters “PP”.