Cheap Wooden Toy Dangers, Your Guide To Eco-Friendly, Safe Wooden Toys
You would be forgiven for believing that any type or brand of wooden toys is a safer option for your children to be playing with as opposed to plastic toys, as wood is a natural material, but… not all wooden toys are created equal and we parents need to be very aware of this. In this article Cheap Wooden Toy Dangers, Your Guide To Eco-Friendly, Safe Wooden Toys, you will learn about the deceptiveness of toy manufacturers and which brands stand by their claims.
The Dangers Of Cheap Wooden Toys – Many Are Made From Toxic Materials
Parents need to be very cautious when purchasing inexpensive, wooden toys, as they are often made from cheap, mass produced, MDF and Ply-woods.
MDF and Ply-wood are commonly bonded using toxic glues and other adhesive materials, this can also include the toxic chemical Formaldehyde. All that is then needed is to top these toys off with a shiny, cheap coating of paint and lacquer, which could possibly contain ‘lead’ and you now have a wooden toy that is anything but natural and safe!
Cheap wooden toys are usually made in mass, in places like China, where quality control is very slack. It is quantity over quality, at the expense of both our health and the forests. Often these toys are finished with cheap, paints, glues & lacquers.
Never be fooled into thinking just because a toy has non-toxic listed on its box, that it is automatically safe .
Cheap Wooden Toy Manufacturers Deceiving Buyers
Toy manufacturers often use clever marketing to make parents believe that they are buying natural toys.
Packaging may state, “this toy is made from wood”, or “made from natural wood”. The toy packaging may use enticing images of tree, or the toys may come in eco-friendly looking cardboard boxes. Marketing a product in this manner, gives us the impression that this is a “natural toy”.
This so-called, “natural”, wooden toy, may be painted with toxic paints and lacquers, or assembled using dangerous glues.
Have a read of this toy recall from one of the largest, worldwide toy stores. Unacceptable Lead levels were found in the paints used to decorate a wooden art box kit and also in some of the items inside.
Or how about this report by ABC News (also in back in 2007), of a toy recall of 1.5 million painted and again, “arsenic contaminated”, wooden (and extremely popular), toy trains and railways sets, also by another leading & highly trusted, toy manufacturer.
Here is another report –Taiwan Update of Formaldehyde Emissions in Wooden Toys and about how parents should deal with it, is a real eye-opener, not to be missed!
Honestly, I ask you, should governing bodies be allowing formaldehyde even in very low levels in children’s toys?
Even in Europe, the forerunner in toy safety, they too have had to recall wooden toys because of Formaldehyde levels.
How To Ensure Your Are Buying Safer, Eco-Friendly, Toys
Quality, safer, wooden toys are manufactured by ethical & environmentally conscious companies. These companies are committed to producing the safest toys they possibly can, money doesn’t win over safety.
Ethical wooden toy manufacturers use wood only from sustainable sources, as well as also choosing to use safer, water, soy and vegetable based paints, adhesives and coatings.
As these wooden toys cost them substantially more to manufacture, their retails prices do tend to be higher.
Ethical wooden toy companies, tend to have nothing to hide and their websites and packaging, usually proudly feature various certifications and awards by safety and environmental organizations.
Europe still leads the way in toy safety European Standard – EN71 Safety and many other countries follow their standards, but to a lesser degree. Here is a list for the different Toy Safety Standards for various countries.
Some key points to remember when shopping for wooden toys for babies and children.
- Hard Wood is always the safest option and especially for babies. You are even able to buy completely natural, unpainted, wooden teethers and newborn toys. Always remember Ply-wood must be glued together and is never a great option for babies and young children that mouth toys.
- Go to the manufacturers website and look for information about their safety and environmental standards. With smaller, independant, eco-friendly companies, you are well within your rights to ask to see proof that their toys have met and passed recognized, safety tests and meet the required standards.
- Look at the packaging for symbols of Toy Safety Standard certifications, as this indicates that the toy has been inspected and passed independent safety tests. Again Europe has the most stringent tests to date. Here is the logo to look for – CE originally stood for “Conformite Europeenne”- which means the toy conforms to the standards of the European Directive
- Contact the company and ask questions before purchasing e.g, if a puzzle is made from plywood, ask whether the glues and adhesives used to make the puzzle, have been tested for harmful substances such as formaldehyde and if they are completely free of toxins.
Here is a list of SAFE WOODEN TOY BRANDS
Please note that some brands do use some, plywood, but they have passed numerous & rigorous, EU safety standard tests.
- PLAN TOYS,
- PIN TOYS,
- GRIMMS SPIEL & HOLTZ,
- TREE BLOCKS,
- TREE HOPPER TOYS,
- I’M TOYS