Baby Einstein Takealong Tunes...Is it TOXIC? I was wanting something to round out my order with Amazon last week, ya know, to get the free shipping deal. I found what looked like a perfect item. Baby Einstein's Takealong Tunes. I was looking at the product info and found a statement that said something to the effect of they are required to notify the consumer of Proposition 65 (this was a link). I clicked on the link and it took me another statement that said something like the product contains a chemical known to the state of California to cause cancer or repoductive harm. I couldn't believe it! I emailed Baby Einstein and they forwarded my email to the maker of the toy and I got back this response:
I want to assure you that Kids II products are safe. Our products are latex free and paint materials are non-toxic. Our products meet and pass necessary requirements for phthalates, PVC's and BPA's. In addition to the tests that are performed by both U.S. and International standards, we also perform testing and go through extra safety procedures with parents and children within our local area. Not only do our products meet the requirements they are also certified by the accredited independent laboratories mentioned with Intertek and Bureau Veritas. In being a private company I hope that you will understand that we are unable to provide specific details on the materials within the products. However in being parents ourselves, we want to share the same confidence with you that we have in allowing our children to play with our products.
In other words...they refused to tell me exactly what the warning was pertaining to! I wrote back for further clarification and haven't received a response. Today, about a week and a half later and they have now REMOVED the link to the warning!!! What's going on? Is this toxic or isn't it???
Unfortunately it is not unusual for people to just throw away electronic items at the end of their service life. When that happens circuit boards with nasty chemicals make it to land fills. These chemicals leech into the ground water. Unless they use RoHS 6/6 with the new Halogen and Bromide (Green) initiatives they may be required by local laws to provide a cautionary statement. However, unless the toy is broken open and the kid chews on the circuit board the chemicals from that board should not harm a child. Also, people tend not to remove batteries when throwing out a toy so there is the added leeching that happens due to a chemical breakdown of the battery chemicals.
It is possible, when the initial note was sent, the circuit board assembly house was using lead solder. Initiatives have been increasing to use RoHS 6/6 and Green assembly processes. It is possible they changed their requirements to the manufacturer of the assembled circuit board such that the Prop 65 link was no longer required.
As a grandmother of a child who came into this world with a brain tumor that took her life just before the age of 3, I would question and research all possible toxin risks. Nadine is obviously trying to do her job extremely well, which I applaud. However overly cautious you may feel she is, I feel your "sinister plot" comment & suggestion of removing all electronic items was not necessary and frankly a bit sarcastic and offensive. She was trying to determine if it was an external toxin that could be ingested, therefore the electronic equipment is not items a child usually puts in their mouths....
if they removed the warning, I'd say this means the toy didn't have a problem, that the warning was a mistake. I think you're looking for a sinister plot that doesn't exist.
If you are concerned about chemicals inside the toy, in the circuitry, be sure to remove all TVs, computers, microwave ovens, and electric can openers from the home as well, as these contain more of the same chemical due to larger surface area of internal electronics.
Bromine is showing up in children's products because they are being treated with PBDEs. This toy's circuitry - like that of a computer or television (some of the worst household sources of PBDE-laced dust) -- has almost certainly been treated with PBDEs.
Almost any plush toy will test positive for bromine for the same reasons. Of course, plush toys can be even nastier. Many even contain bizarre and banned chemicals -- like DDT. But that's another topic, I suppose.
Personally, I would not buy anything that could, in any way, cause harm. There are enough safe toys out there. It makes no sense to take chances on a child's health. If the company is so rude as to not answer a direct question, then they certainly don't need my business. Look for something else and let them keep their toxic toy. I was about to buy this for my granddaughter when I began reading the reviews. Her health is too important to buy this.
My grandson loves this musical toy. He tried it in his mouth a couple of times and decided it was not good to eat, so just uses it as a musical toy now. He appears to be quite smart and healthy and has no neural damage after a year of playing with it, so I am not worried about it. It's a delightful toy and not as loud and annoying as the cube one, although he likes that one, too. The only drawback to this toy is that it takes a fair bit of strength to push down on the play pad and get the music out. Now that he's 14 months old, he can do it, but he couldn't before.
According to the Good Guide, this toy contains Tin and Bromine. Exposure to tin can harm the nervous system, particularly the developing brain, as well as the immune system. There is no standard for the migration of tin from toys. Tin is used in stabilizers of PVC plastic products. It also contains Bromine, which is commonly found in a family of flame retardants chemicals known as brominated flame retardants (BFRs.) A subset of BFRs known as polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) have been in wide use since the 1970s in furniture, textiles and electronics. It is not clear why bromine is appearing in children's products, but high levels may be associated with these common flame retardants. Due to their persistence and toxicity, some PBDEs are being phased out of use. PBDEs can have serious impacts on the developing brain, the thyroid hormone system, and can lead to birth defects and other reproductive issues. There is no toy industry standard for the use of brominated flame retardants, nor is there a migration standard for bromine.