The potential health risks of chemicals used in plastic toys have had scientists concerned for years, but new research reveals just how widespread the risk of harm to children remains.

In an international study, researchers assessed the chemical compositions of toys and estimated levels of human exposure to the substances, ultimately finding over 100 “Chemicals of Concern” in plastic toy materials that could pose a non-negligible health risk to children.

“Out of 419 chemicals found in hard, soft, and foam plastic materials used in children toys, we identified 126 substances that can potentially harm children’s health either via cancer or non-cancer effects, including 31 plasticisers, 18 flame retardants, and 8 fragrances,” explains quantitative sustainability researcher Peter Fantke from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU).

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