Toxic Toys, Plastics & Playgrounds

Thursday, December 6, 2007
Hatch Auditorium
Icahn School of Medicine
New York, New York

In his presentation “Lead, Toxic Toys and our Children’s Health” Philip J. Landrigan, MD, MSc outlined the history of childhood lead poisoning, discussed both clinical and subclinical effects, and illustrated how the removal of lead from consumer products has decreased lead levels in blood. Given the proven success of federal legislation, Dr. Landrigan also argued for greater regulation, especially in paints used on childhood toys, and outlined steps to protect children from lead poisoning.

Next, in “Synthetic Field Turf: Are the benefits worth the environmental and health risks?,” Joel Forman, MD presented potential health effects associated with artificial turf. Despite its long term cost benefits, he illustrated that artificial turf creates greater exposure to toxins, excessive heat, and turf burns.

Finally, in “Plastics Exposure in Childhood: Is there Evidence of Exposure?,” Maida P. Galvez, MD, MPH presented a summary of the plasticizers bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates. She outlined where these plasticizers are found, addressed potential health risks, and discussed what parents can do to prevent exposure. Dr. Galvez concluded by summarizing current legislation on plasticizer regulation.