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Last updated on December 3rd, 2016
In this post, we will continue our discussion of toys and I will include my two toy company recommendations – clear finish wooden toddler toys. Clear finish wooden toddler toys are least likely to contain toxins such as lead, cadmium, mercury, phthalates, etc.
Toys are one of the toughest areas for me to find free of toxins. There are two reasons for the difficulties. When it comes to the materials of which toys are made, ultimately we have to rely on the toy makers to tell us if the materials they use are free of lead, cadmium, arsenic, BPA, PVC, phthalates, bromine, mercury, etc. The manufacturers of glue and paint have been the least responsive to my questions and if they respond, they say that can’t disclose their ingredients. It is a black hole. For now, I have not gone too far beyond “water-based,” and “formaldehyde-free” claims.
The second reason for the difficulty is that as parents we do not want our children to be deprived of fun and opportunities to develop. And even if you take every step to allow only clear finish wooden toddler toys, there will be places and people who will expose your toddler to toys containing toxins. So we can fully protect our kids from toxins in toys only as a society. This is why it is important to share my posts. Please do.
So let’s talk about clear finish wooden toddler toys. I have done tons of research and concluded that we can only be sure that a toy is free of lead if there is no pigment in it. And even that might not be a guarantee, because the clear finishing oil on a wooden toy might have a lead-containing drying agent.
I will be researching more into toys and reporting back to you my findings of clear finish wooden toddler toys. I understand that toddlers can’t play only with colorless toys. They need a variety. And now let me present you with my current findings. I organized the information for an easy read. While wood is a safer alternative to plastic, it may contain toxins too such as toxic preservatives, which includes arsenic. Who would have thought?
Clear Finish Wooden Toddler Toys: Camden Rose
Wood: hardwoods such as cherry, maple, and walnut (no pine); the wood is not treated with chemicals but instead the wood is treated with heat; the wood comes from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Maine or the NE.
Finish: a blend of natural beewax and food-grade mineral oil. Camden Rose tested the mineral oil for phthalates and the test result was negative.
Glue: Titebond II, which is water-based, formaldehyde-free.
Manufacturing location: All of their wooden items are made in the USA. Most of the wooden items are made in the Midwest (Michigan, Ohio, Indiana) but some are made in Maine. Knitted items are made in Peru where they support two fair trade non-profit organizations.
My Thoughts: I am not a huge fan of mineral oil as it is a petroleum product. I do not recommend using it on the skin or places where it may be ingested such as cutting boards (it took me forever to find a mineral oil-free cutting board) or teethers. I feel that it is okay if it is used on toddler toys, given the fact that toddlers do not mouth toys as often as babies and that Camden Rose uses very little of it. Camden Rose clear finish wooden toddler toys are much better alternatives to a lot of other toys out there. By the way, you may request unfinished toys from Camden Rose.
Where to Buy: http://www.palumba.com or Amazon
Clear Finish Wooden Toddler Toys: Elves and Angels
Wood: native, locally harvested and milled white pine and hardwoods such as ash, and birch; the wood is not treated with arsenic or other preservatives; some of their play kitchens come with a “Green” CARB 2 Certified Baltic Birch Plywood.
Finish: Tried and True Danish Oil, which is made of a blend of linseed oils (confirmed with the manufacturer of the Danish oil directly).
Glue: Elmers white, which is solvent- and formaldehyde-free.
Manufacturing location: all products are made and shipped from Maine, US.
My Thoughts: Elves and Angels sell toys from other toy makers on their website. Moreover, they make sets that include a combination of their toys and other brands. Elves and Angels makes toys with clear finishes only.
Where to Buy: the company’s website and Amazon
Conclusion About Clear Finish Wooden Toddler Toys
These two recommendations of clear finish wooden toddler toys are least likely to contain numerous toxic chemicals. I will be reporting back with more recommendations. Please stay tuned. In the meantime, let me know what toys you use and which toys you’d like me to look into.