Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

Are Your Kid's Shoes Toxic?

Health + Wellness

It’s always gratifying to see something you planted bearing fruit, isn’t it? That’s how we’re feeling at Washington Toxics Coalition (WTC) these days. After being an instrumental part in passing Washington State’s landmark Children’s Safe Products Act (CSPA), as well as a toxics-in-packaging law, we’re beginning to see just what is in the children’s products and packaging we bring into our homes.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

Under Washington’s CSPA, manufacturers of children’s products are required to report whether products they sell in Washington contain chemicals on a list of 66 Chemicals of High Concern to Children. Other states are working to replicate Washington’s program.

Thanks to Washington’s Department of Ecology (Ecology), consumers anywhere can find out what toxic chemicals were found in more than 200 children’s products, including clothing and shoes. Ecology tested these products distributed by retailers to see if their products are in compliance with the law.

The most shocking result was for a pair of baby shoes with orange soles and little brown plastic straps. The orange soles were tested at a whopping 44 percent phthalates!

Scientific evidence links phthalates to hormone disruption and other serious health problems. Phthalates are chemicals added to plastic to make it soft and pliable. The CSPA set limits in children’s products on six of the most commonly used phthalates and 44 percent phthalates in the little orange shoes is an amount grossly over state and federal limits for phthalates. This particular pair of baby shoes is designed for warm weather wear, so the high-phthalate soles could lay directly on baby’s skin for hours a day.

But that’s not all. Ecology’s testing also showed that:

  • Phthalates linked to hormone disruption and other health problems were found in some bath toys and children’s cosmetics, other footwear and fragrances marketed for children.

  • Phthalates were also found in very high levels in much of the plastic packaging that children’s products come in.

  • Hormone-disrupting parabens were found in many baby lotions, children’s lip glosses and lip balms, baby wipes and Halloween makeup. 

  • Lead, which is known to cause neuro-developmental effects in children was found in children’s cosmetics, footwear, plastic jewelry and Halloween accessories.

  • Copper and zinc, which are toxic threats to Puget Sound, are found in many metal zippers, buttons and other metal parts of children’s clothing and packaging and in metal jewelry. 

WTC applauds the Department of Ecology’s work and lauds our state’s Children’s Safe Products Act—our nation’s most comprehensive chemical reporting law. This law helps reveal to the public the extent to which toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of children’s products. Before this law was passed, the public simply did not have this information.

But WTC believes these chemicals should not be in children’s products in the first place. Ecology’s reports only underscore the fact that we need stronger laws at the state and federal levels that require testing, restrict harmful chemicals and preserve state’s rights to regulate them.

Click here to see WTC’s report on testing we conducted on phthalates in fragrances marketed to tweens to gauge manufacturers’ compliance with the Children’s Safe Products Act. To see our two reports summarizing manufacturer reports on Chemicals of High Concern to Children under the Children’s Safe Products Act, click here and here.

If you’d like to see Ecology’s product testing reports, click here.

There you will see links to each report. You can also see the full reporting list of Chemicals of High Concern to Children, and a link to the database of reports manufacturers have made to Washington State under the Children’s Safe Products Act.

——–

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Is It Time to Detox?

30% Jump in Autism Rates Brings Greater Urgency to Toxic Chemical Reform

The Skinny on Children and Toxic Turf

——–

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

These seven cookbooks by Black chefs have inspired the author's family. LightFieldStudios / Getty Images

By Zahida Sherman

Cooking has always intimidated me. As a child, I would anxiously peer into the kitchen as my mother prepared Christmas dinner for our family.

Read More Show Less
Hand sanitizer is offered to students during summer school sessions at Happy Day School in Monterey Park, California on July 9, 2020. FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP via Getty Images

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has expanded its list of potentially toxic hand sanitizers to avoid because they could be contaminated with methanol.

Read More Show Less
Over the next couple of weeks, crews will fully remove the 125-foot-wide, 25-foot-tall dam, allowing the Middle Fork Nooksack to run free for the first time in 60 years. Ctyonahl / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 3.0

By Tara Lohan

The conclusion to decades of work to remove a dam on the Middle Fork Nooksack River east of Bellingham, Washington began with a bang yesterday as crews breached the dam with a carefully planned detonation. This explosive denouement is also a beginning.

Read More Show Less
A man observes a flooded stretch of Dock Street in Annapolis, Maryland on Jan. 25, 2010. Matt Rath / Chesapeake Bay Program

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said Tuesday that a trend of increased coastal flooding will continue to worsen as the climate crisis escalates.

Read More Show Less
A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Photo courtesy of Dr. Jessica Fanzo and Dr. Rebecca McLaren

By Katie Howell

A new tool called The Food Systems Dashboard aims to save decision makers time and energy by painting a complete picture of a country's food system. Created by the Johns Hopkins' Alliance for a Healthier World, the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the Dashboard compiles food systems data from over 35 sources and offers it as a public good.

Read More Show Less
White's seahorse, also called the Sydney seahorse, is native to the Pacific waters off Australia's east coast. Sylke Rohrlach / Wikimedia Commons / CC by 2.0

By Manuela Callari

It can grow to a maximum of six inches (16 centimeters), change color depending on mood and habitat, and, like all seahorses, the White's seahorse male gestates its young. But this tiny snouted fish is under threat.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden speaks at a "Build Back Better" Clean Energy event on July 14, 2020 at the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Joe Biden / Facebook

Presidential hopeful Joe Biden announced a $2 trillion plan Tuesday to boost American investment in clean energy and infrastructure.

Read More Show Less