Posted by: Chloe Schwabe | December 13, 2011

Can a child’s toy harm her development? The results are in

Jesus asked his disciples, “How many of you would give your child a snake when they ask for fish?” (Luke 11:11)

Today, we might very well ask how many people would give a child a toy with chemicals that can interfere with their neurological, reproductive, or hormone development when they ask for a rattle or a plastic building set.

ImageA new report out today by Safer Chermicals Healthy Families, SAFER States, and Maine’s Environmental Health Strategy Center found that 280 toys had bisphenol-a (BPA) in them and 291 paints had nonylphenol ethoxolates (NPEs). Additionally, BPA was used in almost all baby bottles until the last year or two and NPEs are also found in detergents and personal care products.

Both chemicals are endocrine disruptors. Endocrine disruptors interfere with the endocrine system, which regulates neurological, reproductive and hormonal activity in the body. These chemicals are particularly damaging to children and a fetus. NPEs are also persistent in the environment, bioaccumulate of the food chain (becoming more toxic as they move through Creation) and are toxic.

As people of faith we are called to care for the health of all God’s children. Right now the federal law that is supposed to protect us from toxic chemicals is badly broken. This past summer and fall Senators Inhofe (R-OK) and Lautenberg (D-NJ) held bipartisan talks to discuss ways to improve the federal Toxic Substances Control Act to protect the most vulnerable. In this season of Advent, I am hopeful that Congress can do the right thing in 2012 and make chemicals safe for children, workers, and all God’s Creation.

As we celebrate the birth of Christ, you can call for protection of all God’s children from toxic chemicals here.

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