New global study: POPs Recycling Contaminates Children’s Toys with Toxic Flame Retardants

Toys from Anchorage stores were tested and found to be contain toxic contaminants

ACAT was part of a new global survey that found recycling plastics containing toxic flame retardant chemicals found in electronic waste results in contamination of the world’s best-selling toy along with other children’s products. Ironically, the chemical contaminants can damage the nervous system and reduce intellectual capacity but are found in Rubik’s Cubes – a puzzle toy designed to exercise the mind.

The study was performed by IPEN (a global civil society network) and Arnika (an environmental organization in the Czech Republic). The toxic chemicals, OctaBDE, DecaBDE, and HBCD, are used in the plastic casings of electronic products and if they are not removed, they are carried into new products when the plastic is recycled. The survey of products from 26 countries (including Alaska, USA) found that 90% of the samples contained OctaBDE or DecaBDE. Nearly half of them (43%) contained HBCD. These chemicals are persistent and known to harm the reproductive system and disrupt hormone systems, adversely impacting intelligence, attention, learning and memory.

ACAT staff and a delegation of Alaska Native women are on their way to Geneva for a meeting of the United Nations’ Stockholm, Rotterdam, and Basel Conventions. The contamination of recycled plastic is on the agenda.

The news release is here.

The full report is here.


Questions? Contact us any time.