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Are soft rubber/latex toys unsafe?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
A well-meaning friend gave my son something like this:

http://www.officeplayground.com/Puff...-+pricegrabber

He loves the darn thing and I can't seem to sneak it away. But the thing just *looks* bad. It is a very soft rubber/latex (i think), but I can't seem to find much information about rubber. Could it have dangerous chemicals?
post #2 of 9
The thing is, toys now are NOT rubber (unless they are crunchy toys! Like that Sophie giraffe or other natural baby toys, etc), they are other plastics, often with pthalates to soften them and prevent drying/cracking.

I've seen toys like that in stores and they just smell and feel funny, so they're on my no list, but I don't actually know about them per se.
post #3 of 9
I'm pretty sure they are silicone which is actually pretty safe all things considered. I use them for adaptive purposes for chikdren who are low tone and the one's I have are silicone at least. Even latex/natural rubber has some issues so you are never 100% if something goes in the mouth (maybe wood without any treatment...stainless steel the new go to for NFL families even leaches a bit so ho hum).

Chocking though...I would worry aboutthat if your childis younger than say four...
post #4 of 9
I've smelled these things and they certainly smell like they're off-gassing. It would take some digging to find out just what chemicals goes into this toy. The retailers wouldn't know and the manufacturers are usually hard to find and to get clear answers. Natural rubber has to be processed with chemicals in order to be formed into balls like this. But without knowing what chemicals are involved, it's hard to say if it is safe, although I would guess not.

Jane
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by janeshep View Post
I've smelled these things and they certainly smell like they're off-gassing. It would take some digging to find out just what chemicals goes into this toy. The retailers wouldn't know and the manufacturers are usually hard to find and to get clear answers. Natural rubber has to be processed with chemicals in order to be formed into balls like this. But without knowing what chemicals are involved, it's hard to say if it is safe, although I would guess not.

Jane

Not much digging, just a simple google of "puffer ball material"

Apparently the majority are made of Thermoplastic elastomers (TPE) aka thermoplastic rubbers aka Styrene-Ethylene-Butylene-Styrene (SEBS).

Greenpeace seems to consider them an acceptable alternative to PVC in toys.

From my brief look around google university, they seem to be widely accepted as being low to non toxic.
post #6 of 9
My ds is VERY allergic to that kind of 'rubber' or whatever it is. He breaks out in a rash if he touches one.

The nasty smell they have puts me off anyway, it just smells 'toxic' to me. I dunno if it is, but either way, ds isnt allowed near them
post #7 of 9
I would be concerned about choking as well. Those things break pretty easily.

If it was actually latex, which is a natural material, it would be okay as long as your child is not allergic. Mine is, so that would be a big no-no in our house.
post #8 of 9
I would only worry if your child is young and chews on it because the spikes can probably be bitten off. Otherwise, I think it is safe
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 
Wow, you guys rock. I snuck it away for most of the day, but will let him have it for a bit here and there. With supervision. I haven't seen him stick it in his mouth yet, but the choking also worries me. Uggggh. Thank again! Maybe it's the toxic color they use for these things that makes me think it is darn near radioactive???
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