By Adam Zoltowski
This Friday thousands of Christmas shoppers will get in line early for the best deals of the holiday season. Christmas has long been associated with consumerism, and toys for children in particular. So this year, when you are at Toy’s R Us buying the latest Barbie or Iron Man action figure, keep in mind that the toy you believe will bring great joy to your children may in fact be toxic in nature. A new site toxictoysrus.com, reports on toxic levels in PVC, otherwise known as the toxic plastic, found in several lines of toys at the popular store. The site claims that ‘Chemicals released during PVC’s lifecycle are linked to chronic diseases on the rise in children including asthma, learning disabilities, obesity and cancer.” The site also features the below news report on the topic, as well as a call to action for site visitors to urge their elected representatives to help put an end to toxicity in children’s toys. Kohlberg Kravis & Roberts (KKR), the company that owns Toys R Us plans to make an IPO of the company to raise up to $800 million to help cover the massive debt it has incurred since buying the chain in 2005. Surprisingly, outside of this site, there has been little coverage on the topic, or attention brought to the issue of strategic designs role in making safe, responsible toys for children through triple bottom line practices. New materials solutions exist to provide sustainable design solutions, and life cycle analysis can help ensure low toxicity levels in our products, especially in those used by our youngest members of society. So, this Friday, when you’re looking for the perfect Christmas gift, be it a toy or otherwise, consider where it came from, what’s in it, and where its going.