KINGSTON — The Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC) is imploring persons to exercise care when purchasing gifts for children during the Christmas season.
In an interview with JIS News, Communications Specialist at the CAC, Dorothy Campbell, said shoppers should be especially cautious when making purchases for younger children.
“For the younger ones, you simply must be aware that some items might be toxic, items might have small parts that will fall off like the eyes of a teddy bear or the tongue or something like that. Ensure that those parts are not removable, look for those that have… pieces glued in so they’re not choking hazards for the little ones,” she advised.
According to the Washington Toxics Coalition’s 2011 Healthy Holiday Gift Guide, harmful toxic chemicals, including lead, cadmium, flame retardants and phthalates, can be found in some toys, jewelry, personal care products and other items for children.
The Coalition, on its website:www.watoxics.org/2011giftguide, suggests that shoppers avoid purchasing plastics toys, particularly those that list vinyl/Polyvinyl chloride(PVC) as ingredients. Soft plastic toys are commonly made of vinyl, which can contain lead, phthalates, or other harmful chemicals.
Persons should rather, opt for plastic-free toys made of wood, cloth, wool, or paper. Shoppers need to look for plush toys, games or puzzles made of paper, dolls made of cloth, wool or paper, and wooden vehicles, rattles, and figurines.
Shoppers are also being warned to avoid metal jewelry for children, which may contain toxic heavy metals, like lead and cadmium.
In addition, persons should avoid purchasing art supplies with warnings like Caution, Danger, Warning, May Cause.
The Washington Toxics Coalition is a nonprofit organisation in the United States that protects public health and the environment by helping to eliminate toxic pollution.
By Alecia Smith-Edwards, JIS Reporter