Research published in the Environmental Science & Technology journal suggests certain baby teethers could be leaking endocrine-disrupting chemicals, such as BPA, BPS, or BPF. In many products, BPA has been replaced with BPS or BPF. Fox News reports that BPA has been linked to obesity, cancer, and childhood anxiety.
However, experts say the chemical alternatives, which were wrongly believed to not leak like BPA, cause issues of their own. For example, according to Fox News, BPS has been found to cause developmental issues in fish embryos.
Also found in the analyzed baby teethers were parabens, triclosan, and triclocarban. Parabens are most commonly used in water or gel-filled teethers to prevent microorganism growth. In September, the United States Food and Drug Administration banned certain hand sanitizers and body washes due to the triclosan and triclocarban contents. The FDA believes these chemicals can cause long-term harm to the body, including bacterial resistance and hormonal effects.
Plastics industries claim the amount of BPA in child and baby products does not pose a health risk. However, the author of the study refutes that claim, stating it may only take a nanogram or microgram amount of the chemical to present a health risk.
According to Fox News, the FDA previously banned BPA in baby bottles and sippy cups in 2012. The FDA has not determined a definite answer to at what dose do these harmful chemicals pose a risk, which is why regulation has not been all that widespread or strict.
Many of the teethers in the study were labeled as “non-toxic” or “BPA-free,” reports Fox News.
With manufacturers constantly coming out with new children’s toys, it is important to pay attention to new recalls and warnings. Many dangerous and defective toys are widely available and often times the danger is unknown until it is too late.
We must be aware that sometimes the seemingly most harmless objects cause irreversible damage. Toxic chemicals in toys pose a highly dangerous risk to children of all ages.