For an upcoming program broadcast on Europe 5, Vert de Rage journalists analyzed around a hundred toys, sold in mainstream stores. Their observation is chilling: 10% of toys are contaminated by an endocrine disruptor considered carcinogenic.
We knew until now that they were everywhere: in our furniture, our coverings, our textiles… Brominated flame retardants (BFRs), initially thought to protect us, are today considered carcinogens and harmful substances. endocrine disruptors. The show team didn’t need more Green of Rage (Europe 5) to check if this chemical could also directly affect children in their daily lives. And that is unfortunately the case!
Rates of brominated retardants up to 10 times too high
On all the toys analyzed, the journalists revealed worrying results, because they were well above the authorized thresholds. According to French regulations, levels of brominated retardants in toys must not exceed 500 mg/kg. The program tells us that out of around 100 toys tested using an X-ray fluorescence gun, 10% exceeded the regulatory threshold, some even reaching new heights: in a plastic gun for example, the concentration of brominated flame reached 5,708 mg/kg, more than ten times the authorized limit! A nasty surprise just after Christmas and its shower of gifts…
Unfortunately, the discovery is not without consequences for the health of young people: “If your baby ever puts a brominated plastic in his mouth, you will not be able to detect an effect instantly. But if you have repeated exposure over many years, you can have hormonal effects called endocrine disruptors”analyzes Pierre Hennebert, former environmental chemist at the National Institute of Industrial Environment and Risks (Ineris) and specialist in these substances, during the show.
The different actors pass the buck
Questioned by journalists, the various players in the sale of toys do not give valid reasons for this rate or place the responsibility on the sub-sub-subcontractors…
The Action brand, for example, claims that its own tests, carried out on its toys,“revealed no problems” or “confirm that the product fully complies with all EU legislative requirements.
Alerted to the plastic rifle, the Carrefour group responded that it had immediately notified the manufacturer, Ferry, “required to place on the market products that comply with the various conformity standards of the countries in which it markets them”. But the manufacturer himself kicks in, claiming to have been “deceived by an unscrupulous supplier who probably unknowingly used recycled plastic in his products”plastic which contained “surely these brominated substances”…
So how can you reduce the doses if no one recognizes the problem?
Brominated products, constantly in our daily lives
Consulted on the subject by TipsForWomens, Dr Pierre Souvet, president of ASEF (Association Santé Environnement Europe) is not surprised by this announcement.
“These polybrominated flame retardants are found almost everywhere today. This is also confirmed by the Esteban study from Santé Publique Europe, on the exposure of the French to different pollutants. You will find it in your curtains, your sofas, in your food and therefore in some manufactured products. Everyone is therefore more or less contaminated” he reveals. However in this whole, in the indoor air, it is not the toys which will produce the most particles, but it is also part of it” he reveals.
Can we protect our children?
In this context, it is difficult to protect yourself or your children from the dangers of flame retardants. “Especially since at the moment, in Europe unlike the United States, products do not mention whether they contain this substance or not. This is not accessible information” deplores Pierre Souvet.
The only way to mitigate the effects or protect yourself from them comes down to personal measures that can be implemented according to the specialist:
- Avoid fatty foods, as they bind more bromine;
- Ventilate your interior properly every day to evacuate semi-volatile compounds.
Two measures to be applied more in the presence of a pregnant woman: “since bromine takes the place of iodine, in pregnant women this alters the formation of thyroid hormonesdont l’iodine is an essential element, and impacts the child’s neurocerebral development.”