03 August 2007

Of Toxic Toys, Plastics and the Foodchain

Toys are the objects given to small human beings to learn how to 'kill time' early on. A philosopher once said that the best thing they could do with these non functional replicas is to break them a.s.a.p. With the baby boom, replica prams, stoves, pink fairy dresses (for girls I assume) and tractors, cars and guns (for boys I assume) are emerging everywhere amongst other gadgets.

Most of these toys are produced in Eastern Asia (map) and massively imported by Western countries (map!) In Australia “ the importation of cheap and potentially dangerous toys has increased fivefold since 2000...” (S.M.H.)

Slipping under the authorities' radar” are lead painted toys for babies and toddler to fiddle with. Some have toxic paint, others are simply just plastic to chew on. The adverse health effects of lead and and other chemicals often in plastics reach from physical to mental problems.

Once chucked, the stuff ends up in land-fills and the ocean. Visible on Manly beach as plastics of all colours. “There is 6 times more plastic floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean than zooplankton by weight.” Like a boomerang, all comes back into the food chain and into our bodies.

Watch "Plastic Debris, Rivers to Sea" by the The Algalita Marine Research Foundation which claims that "80% of marine debris is land-based and 90% of floating marine debris is plastics."

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