I’ve been thinking about the kinds of chemicals we all come into contact with on a daily basis, and while I don’t want to worry excessively, I think it’s important to minimise certain risks to our kids as much as possible. Fortunately it’s relatively easy to make a few changes to the kinds of products we use and give to our kids in order to cut down on unnecessary toxins.
Today I’m focusing on Lead.
Lead is a highly poisonous heavy metal and exposure can cause serious damage to the brain and kidneys. Children aged 3 and under are especially vulnerable because they play and explore by crawling and putting objects in their mouths, which can increase their risk of contact with lead, and of lead entering their bodies through breathing or swallowing. Their bodies are also less efficient at removing lead than adults’.
Whilst lead paint was banned in the UK in 1992 and in the 1970s in the US and many other parts of the world, older houses may still contain lead paint in some areas. If there is any lead paint on surfaces your child might touch and disturb the lead particles, it’s recommended to paint over it with safer, more modern paint. Stripping it first is discouraged as this distributes particles into the air. There are many brands of eco-friendly paints available which are designed especially for use in children’s nurseries and playrooms for instance.
Lead may be found in toys and other products manufactured abroad, as well as vintage toys like metal toy cars produced before the use of lead paint was banned. Regulation on the amount of toxic substances found in toys wasn’t passed in the UK until 1995.
EU regulations until 2013 stated that Lead MAY STILL BE in toys, but limited to 90 Micrograms per Kilo - even in Play Dough!! With the updated Regulations Lead is allowed up to 13.5Mg/Kg in Play Dough, 3.4mg/Kg in Paint and
EU Regs: (22)The specific limit values laid down in Directive 88/378/EEC for certain substances should also be updated to take account of the development of scientific knowledge. Limit values for arsenic, cadmium, chromium VI, lead, mercury and organic tin, which are particularly toxic, and which should therefore not be intentionally used in those parts of toys that are accessible to children, should be set at levels that are half of those considered safe"
Lead may be found in children's jewellery or products made of vinyl or plastic, such as bibs, backpacks, car seats and lunch boxes. A child can absorb lead found in these products by mouthing or chewing on them.
Filtering tap water is a good idea to help remove any possible lead contamination, which can occur if the pipes in your house have been connected with lead. Use cold tap water for cooking, drinking or making baby formula because hot water is more likely to contain higher levels of lead. Eating a healthy diet high in iron and calcium may decrease a child's absorption of lead.
Store food in glass, plastic or stainless steel containers, not open cans. Make sure your child washes their hands and face after playing outside or with pets and before eating and sleeping. Also, regularly wash children's toys, which may become contaminated from soil or household dust.
Lead can be found even in naturally-produced pigments and dyes if they’re not certified as safe for food use. Every Tiny Land product is made with safe, food-grade ingredients - Organic wherever possible - and all our water is filtered, to avoid lead and other harmful substances.
Our Paints and Play Doughs are the safest you can find on the market!
I hope you’ve found some helpful tips in this blog article and I’ll be back soon!
(Photos by Jack Douglass on Unsplash)