Most babies love bath time. And for babies who don't, sometimes the best way to get them to love bath time is to put some interesting toys into the bath. But you need to make sure that those toys are non toxic toys.
The combination of warm water and babies chewing means that you need to choose toys that aren't going to leach toxic chemicals into the water.
How to choose non toxic bath toys
When you're looking for bath toys, here's three chemicals that you need to avoid.
- PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride)
- BPA (Bisphenol A)
PVC or polyvinyl chloride
is made soft and flexible with the addition of phthalates and Bisphenol A (BPA). It's also high in chlorine, which means that dioxins are released during the manufacturing process. Exposure to dioxins has been linked to reproductive, developmental, and other health problems, and at least one dioxin is classified as a carcinogen.
Dioxins, phthalates, and BPA are suspected to be endocrine disruptors
, which are chemicals that may interfere with the production or activity of hormones in the human endocrine system. Endocrine disruption
has been linked to obesity and diabetes, female reproduction, male reproduction, hormone-sensitive cancers in females, prostate cancer, thyroid, and neurodevelopment (brain development).
You also need to look out for Bisphenol S (BPS)
. It's closely related to BPA, and has the same issues, but it's not as well known.
Bisphenols and phthalates
are of particular concern in bath toys, because the heat of the bath water can make the plastic break down. When this happens, these chemicals can leach out of the plastic. If baby is chewing on the toys, or even in the water, they can be exposed to the chemicals through their skin.
Choose safer plastics
The key to choosing non toxic bath toys is to know which materials are safe. If you're choosing plastic, make sure you choose safe plastics. I wrote a post on safer plastics
a while back, but here's a quick run down. The safe plastics are:
- #2 plastics: HDPE (high density polyethylene)
- #4 plastics: LDPE (low density polyethylene)
- #5 plastics: PP (polypropylene)
And the plastics you should avoid:
- #1 plastics: PET or PETE (polyethylene terephthalate)
- #3 plastics: PVC (polyvinyl chloride or plasticised polyvinyl chloride)
- #6 plastics: PS (polystyrene)
With #7 plastics, it depends on the type of plastic. Generally, you should avoid clear #7 plastics as these are often polycarbonates. Opaque plastics are usually okay. It's confusing, I know, so I wrote a post all about #7 plastics
Best brands for toxic bath toys
Of course, the easiest way to choose non toxic toys is to find a trustworthy brand. Here's the ones that I recommend here in Australia:
Do you know any other non toxic bath toy ranges in Australia? Let me know in the comments below!
Hevea - made from natural rubber, and they've got the cutest rubber duck! They're also free from nitrosamines, PVC, BpA and phthalates.
Boon - free from PVC, BPA, phthalates and lead. And they've got the best range of bath toys ever.
Viking Toys - all free from PVC, BPA, phthalates and lead. They're all recyclable and dishwasher safe, too.
- Plan Toys - there are some bath toys in the PlanToys range, and they're all made of PlanWood. It's completely sustainable and there's no phthalates, BPA, PVC, formaldehyde, lead or flame retardants.
Green Toys - all made from recycled HDPE #2 plastics, with some recycled PP #% plastics, and some recycled LDPE #4 plastics. There's no BPA, no phthalates, no lead, and they're all independently tested and certified.
CaaOcho - all natural rubber toys that are free from BPA, PVC, phthalates, lead and nitrosamines.
- Kid O - all Kid O toys are free from PVC, phthalates, BPA and lead, and their toys are independently tested and certified.
- WOW Toys - All WOW toys are BPA, PVC, phthalate, lead and flame retardant-free. They're all independently tested and certified as well.