ICTIíS Position on the Use of Vinyl in Toys
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC or vinyl) makes good, safe toys. It is a material that is durable, easy to keep clean, and, because it is chemically inert, can be put in the hands of small children without fear. It has been in widespread use for more than half a century and is probably the worldís most researched plastic. No other material can match vinylís happy combination of properties.
The preponderance of scientific evidence and a consensus of child safety agencies refute claims that vinyl in toys has an adverse effect on the children who play with them. Vinyl meets international standards for safety and health. In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved its almost universal use as a packaging material for food and medication, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which is responsible for monitoring toys to see that they do not pose a danger to children, does not consider vinyl or vinyl additives as potential hazards.
As an industrial product, manufacturer of vinyl consumes less energy and generates less waste and fewer toxic emissions than any of its suggested replacement alternatives. It is recyclable, and more is recycled every day. It can be safely incinerated or deposited in landfills.
In their campaign against polyvinyl chloride, environmentalist groups have focused on the chemical plasticizers that are used to make vinyl pliable, a class of substances known as phthalate esters, and particularly their use in toys made of vinyl. If the allegation that phthalates pose a hazard to human hormonal balance was supported by reliable, peer-tested, scientific evidence, the manufacturers would be the first to eliminate the offending substance. After all, their business is to entertain children, not put them at risk.
That they do not act is because the evidence is flimsy, or in many cases, downright wrong. In vitro tests conducted in laboratory test tubes as well as the more relevant in vivo studies have yielded no evidence that the most common, commercially significant phthalates produce any endocrine modulating effects or display estrogenic activity.
One thing should be perfectly clear. Toy manufacturers are dedicated to making toys that are safe to use as well as fun. We would never knowingly make use of a material that would harm children.