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???
Thanks for your reply. If the product is safe then why the warning? It cited Prop 65. If you click on the link it comes up with: "Proposition 65Proposition 65, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, was enacted as a ballot initiative in November 1986. The Proposition was intended by its authors to protect California citizens and the State's drinking water sources from chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and to inform citizens about exposures to such chemicals.
Proposition 65 requires the Governor to publish, at least annually, a list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer or reproductive toxicity."
I contacted the Office of Environmental Health Hazzard Assessment and they said that the manufacturer is responsible for keeping track of chemicals that they include in their products that are considered toxic and informing the consumer of those chemicals. They DID inform the consumer, right on the Amazon website, but after I questioned the warning they REMOVED it! If the toxic part is inside the toy then that isn't as big of a deal and I would buy it anyway. If it's outside then I feel that I have the right to know. I asked the manufacturer this and they still have yet to answer. I don't understand what all the secrecy is about.
Considering that Baby Einstein has already had a toy recalled for toxic levels of lead (blue block in their Discover & Play Color Blocks), even if they aren't listing the toxins in their toys directly, they are a suspect company. One boy was suspected of being poisoned by these blocks when no other lead-containing items were found in the house. Besides, lead, PVC, and BPA (which you probably get more from in canned foods anyway) aren't the only toxins in toys and other household objects. Many have toxic levels of antimony, bromine, barium (Melissa & Doug has had two recalls in Canada for this), cadmium, arsenic and mercury. I mostly deny my kids the pleasure of putting any toys in their mouths excessively, but if you want to feel a bit safer about toys, try plugging individual toys/companies into HealthyToys.org or www.goodguide.com. You'll get a better feel for who has repeat offenses. I wouldn't trust anything a manufacturer tells you anyway. They have no intention of pulling dangerous toys or disclosing information unless they're forced to by law. Saying that, we own this toy, as it was gifted before we knew what we know now. The kids love to dance to it. I consider it hazardous for the kids to put in their mouths. I imagine it's not doing a lot of damage just being held. And it does play pleasing music :)
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.
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....
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.
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.