HealthyStuff.org conducts initial screening of chemicals in products for a handful of hazardous chemicals. However, there are a number of chemicals of concern that the x-ray fluorescence (XRF) device and HealthyStuff.org cannot detect. For example, there has been much concern recently about bisphenol A, a component of polycarbonate plastic. The XRF is not able to detect bisphenol A, nor can it identify polycarbonate. In addition, the XRF cannot detect phthalates, a family of chemicals of concern, although we have used the presence of PVC plastic as a surrogate for the possible presence of phthalates. The CPSC regulated six phthalates for the first time beginning in 2009 in toys for children under 12 and childcare products for children under 3. See a summary of provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 (PDF).
if a product was found to have a LOW rating for the chemicals
tested on HealthyStuff.org, it does not necessarily mean the product
is safe. Poorly designed or manufactured products can cause falls,
choking, strangulation, burns, drowning, and poisoning. In addition, the XRF can only test for a subset of known chemicals of concern.
It is important to note that lead in toys is only one source of lead exposure for children. The largest source of lead for most children is still paint in older homes. For more information on the safety of toys and childcare products, check out: