Toys made from natural materials are often called natural toys. Often the natural materials, however, have been painted or glossed with harmful and even toxic chemicals or impregnated with additives. Phtalates are plasticizers considered especially harmful to children’s health as they mimic hormones in the human body and disturb hormone balance. High levels of flame-retardants and lead also have resulted in toy manufacturers retracting their products from the world market.

Good toys do not necessarily need to be always made from purely natural materials. Synthetics can be relatively environmentally friendly from the standpoint that if the toy is durable it can last for generations. Classic toys like Lego and Playmo have educational value and therefore play an important role in modern society. Children, therefore, should not be banned from playing with them. But the toy industry is not only about making healthy and positive toys. Unfortunately there are too many examples proving the opposite.

There are, therefore, many things that have to be considered when choosing toys for our children. Toys can be second-rate rubbish that cannot be comfortably handled by children. In the end both the child and the gift giver will be unhappy. The impact of such second-rate toys on the environment can only be negative.

Homemade and relatively simple toys stimulate imagination of a child. They may be something that the kids can make themselves or change into something else. Pots and pans, keys and other daily items have long been favorites with kids. Simple rags, cubes, rocks and other things from natural kingdom stimulate the feel for materials and are important for the development of all children.

As regards environmental impact; environmental labels like the Nordic Swan and Demeter ensure that there is full account taken of the environmental impact and production of the product.

The European Community surveys the chemical composition of toys and store items in general. New legislation demands that all chemicals sold within the EC must be registered, but not evaluated. Only about 5% of those chemicals have undergone some kind of risk assessment. Our knowledge about the impact of chemicals on our life and health is therefore still very limited. New research now often reveals when toys containing harmful chemicals have entered the market. Those chemicals are then withdrawn immediately.

Toys that will be marketed in Iceland shall be marked with CE certification. In the manual or on the toy there shall be information about the possible dangers that using it entails, along with information on how to react if something goes wrong. Toys are marked according to age range indicating whether it is suitable for young children or not. It is also mandatory that the name and label of the producer or the responsible party be listed on the toy along with their address.

The Consumer Agency makes sure that toys meet the requirements for the Icelandic market. On the The Consumer Agendy web it is also possible to monitor which toys the EC wants to withdraw from the market, if any.

July 18, 2013
Guðrún Arndís Tryggvadóttir „Leikföng“, Náttú July 18, 2013 URL: [Skoðað:Oct. 4, 2023]
Efni má nota eða vitna í samkvæmt almennum venjum sé heimilda getið með slóð eða fullri tilvitnun hér að ofan.
skrifað: June 25, 2007
breytt: June 13, 2014