A Toxic Free Christmas

From Chloe Schwabe, Assistant Director of Environmental Health at the National Council of Churches Eco-Justice Program:

MPPH02989J0000[1] Just as the wise men brought gifts for baby Jesus to pay him homage (Matt 2:1-12), we also give gifts to loved ones at Christmas.  These gifts shouldn't contain toxic chemicals. Last year, Congress enacted legislation to protect children from harmful lead and phthalates in toys. While this has made some toys safer, there are still gifts under the Christmas tree with chemicals linked to health concerns that can harm children, pregnant women, and workers. Chemicals in toys, electronics, bedding, and kid's jewelry are not tested for safety due to outdated and broken chemical policies. We should have the guarantee that the gifts we make and purchase are toxic-free this Christmas and everyday of the year.

Will you add your name to the growing number of people of faith that share a vision of a chemical policy that protects vulnerable populations and God's Creation, and ensures the development of a clean, green economy? We will share these principles with Congress and ask them to guarantee the safety of presents before they end up under the Christmas tree. During this time of Advent, we are hopeful that 2010 will improve the health of God's children and Creation. Fixing our broken chemical policies is one part of the solution. Please add your name to the Christian Principles for a Healthy Body and Spirit this Christmas.

View the results of toy testing from the Ecology Center (Michigan) to ensure that the toys you purchase are free of toxic chemicals.  This year the Center found that one third of toys still had higher amounts of lead than the standard of 300 parts per million.  They also found toys that contained phthalates (chemicals that have been found to disrupt the endocrine system), which have been banned.  However, these results are an improvement over last year when there were no lead standards and phthalates had not been banned.

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