During the holiday gift buying season, it’s good to recall the days of old-fashioned toys. Simple, wooden toys made with non-toxic paints are far safer than those sprayed with varnishes and paints containing lead and volatile organic compounds. Plastics can emit unhealthy chemicals used during manufacturing, which also produces environmental pollution.
In recent years, the European Commission has banned cadmium in all jewelry sold in Europe, but those shopping for low-cost jewelry in North America from popular fashion chains may be wearing products made with cadmium, a heavy metal that can be particularly toxic for kids. There are no known risks for people that wear contaminated jewelry, but swallowing or chewing on a piece containing high concentrations of the toxic metal could allow it to seep into the body.