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The puzzle mat: A toxic toy for children

The puzzle mat: A toxic toy for children


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Years ago puzzle play mats, those made of rubber that children play with on the ground, are on the market. At least ten years that I know of because my daughter had one. However, the Organization of Consumers and Users (OCU), has carried out a study in which, of 10 products analyzed, only one could be considered safe.

According to the study, puzzle rugs are a toxic toy for childrenas they contain toxic substances such as phthalates or formamide.

These rubber matscontain chemicals dangerous to children who do not see and ignore the dangersucking, touching, or inhaling these harmful substances. Among the substances that have been found in carpets as well as in their wrapping, are formamide, used to reduce the bad smells of the product; phthalates, to make it more flexible; and solvents, to help give them more attractive colors. These substancescan irritate the children's skin, mucous membranes or affect their nervous system.

The phthalates They were not found in the puzzles, but in 4 of the 10 packages of the toy. The formamide it has been detected in all but one product. This substance is prohibited in the new toys directive, however, its application was not effective until 2011. The OCU considers that all toys should be free of any toxic substance, and warns that while the standard comes into force and the product is recalled, the solution is air out the mat without packaging a few days before that the child can play with it.

Many parents consider that the quality of toys is related to their price. In other words, the more expensive the product, the more security it must offer. The OCU states that price is not a guarantee of quality. Products in which harmful substances have been detected are more expensive than those free of these substances. The results of the study are published in the Organization's magazine for October, and were reported to the National Institute of Consumption. As with puzzle rugs, it is not surprising that some toys can be toxic to children, so the OCU requests more control of harmful substances in toys, that the permitted amounts of dangerous solvents are more precise, that it be withdrawn toys that contain or emit formamide, and that packaging is also considered toys.

Vilma Medina. Editor of our site

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