Bengaluru: Those brightly-coloured, cute toys that all little kids love, can be harmful to their health, especially since many chew om them for a long time.
A recent study done by The Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), which is a public interest research and advocacy organisation, found that there were high levels of toxic phthalates in children’s toys in India.
According to their research, exposure to phthalates, which are chemicals used in toys to soften plastic, can lead to a wide range of health disorders.
These toys have also been found to be dangerous for children under three years, who handle toys in a completely different way from slightly older kids.
They often put these toys in their mouth. Considering the huge toy market in Bengaluru, this issue is worrying doctors across the city.
"These toys can enter our system either through ingestion or can be directly absorbed or inhaled leading to various disorders like skin allergies, respiratory problems and many can lead to gastrointestinal problems as well," informs Dr Riyaz, Professor, Department of Community Medicine at Bangalore Medical College and Research Institute (BMCRI).
"Chemical exposure to children, especially from toys, is an emerging concern. These children often lick toys and suck them and also chew on them, resulting in ingestion of harmful substances which may cause severe long-term health disorders," says Dr Asha Benakappa, Professor of Paediatrics, Vani Vilas Hospital.
She adds, "There are many attractive toys with bright acrylic paintings on them, which can have toxic chemicals that could be ingested by licking and chewing."
She continued, "This can lead to poisoning, resulting in vomiting, acute hemolysis, skin reactions. Many toys are coated with turpentine as well, which could lead to Hemolytic anemia," says Dr Asha.
Apart from phthalates, toys sold in India also contain lead and cadmium which are known poisons and no level of lead is considered to be safe for the system. "These cause lead poisoning, affecting all the organs," says Dr Lakshmipathi, paediatrician, KC General Hospital.
The doctor says it doesn’t stop just there and there are many children who come to him because of choking on the beads that some of the toys are adorned with....