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Toxic Plastic Easter Eggs

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Okay, this grandma likes to pride herself on being on top of things, especially on the holidays and especially with the grandchildren.  This year, as usual I started weeks before Easter, buying Easter basket stuffers, grass, plastic eggs, candy…you know, all the usual.  Well being the busy person that I am, I decided to take a few minutes today to go ahead and prepare the Easter baskets ahead of time, since I’m usually pretty busy in the kitchen the week of Easter.  I decided to go ahead and feel the plastic eggs with candy.  What could it hurt?  I close and seal them, so the candy should stay fresh…right?

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Pastel colored eggs…

Well, I’ve never been big on buying those real fancy plastic eggs…I guess because the plain ole pastel colored plastic eggs take me back to a time when my two grown kids were small.  So anyhow…I was shopping for Easter stuff and grabbed 2-3 bags of the pastel colored plastic eggs that I usually grab, got in line at the checkout and thought, “okay, you ditzy grandma, you have five grandchildren to fill eggs for”, so I ran back to the plastic egg aisle and grabbed another bag and got back in line.

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Metallic colored eggs…

Moving forward…today, I grabbed a cup of coffee and sit down to fill some plastic eggs.  That’s when I noticed that when I had gone back to grab another bag of eggs, I had grabbed a bag of metallic colored eggs.  Oh well…the grandkids will be shocked that grandma changed it up a bit.  I decided to fill the pastel eggs first, moving along as usual, until I ran out of them.

Then it happened!!!!  I popped open the first metallic plastic egg.  OMG!  Are you kidding me?  The toxic fume that permeated the air in front of my nose took my breath away.  I felt almost like I was in a tiny closet that had just been freshly painted with no ventilation…but no wait…it smelled sort of like paint thinner too…oh my goodness, the toxic smell sent me straight to my garbage can with the whole bag of metallic eggs.  Then my little brain started working over time… why don’t I smell this horrible toxic smell in the pastel plastic eggs….or maybe they’re toxic too and I just can’t smell the toxic odor.   OMG…have I been slowly poisoning my grandchildren?  Well…my grown children seem normal…maybe years ago they weren’t toxic but now they are?  Oh geez….should I empty all of the pastel eggs that I already filled? HELP!!

Okay, so I jumped on google to investigate this situation a little bit more…and I was a little disappointed in my findings. There was one article posted by USA Today, that mentioned findings of toxic lead levels in some plastic Easter eggs a few years back and a second one pertaining to BPA.  Aside these articles, I couldn’t find much of anything about toxic chemicals pertaining to plastic Easter eggs, although I’m well aware that there has been plenty of controversy over the toxins in plastic materials for several years.

In the 1980’s when I was filling those pastel colored plastic eggs for my kids, I didn’t even know what BPA stood for…wait… I didn’t even know there was such a thing as BPA (bisphenol A).  Although I’ve searched for and purchased only BPA free drinking bottles for a few years now, this sometimes slow grandma, has never given any thought to the plastic Easter eggs and whether or not they might contain BPA or any other toxic chemicals for that matter.  Maybe I’ve just been in denial.  Maybe it’s because in the back of my mind, I didn’t want anything disrupting my picture perfect little Easter egg world, full of brightly colored Easter eggs, and the excitement on the faces of the little ones when they find and open them.

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I dropped everything today and went back to the good ole Easter egg aisle at my local store.  I looked at the bags on each and every variety of plastic eggs, and nowhere to be found were the words BPA free.  The only warning on the bags were for choking hazards.

So I ask… if a plastic bottle of drinking water is not BPA free, yet it doesn’t smell like a can of toxic paint thinner, then why do my plastic Easter eggs, that are not BPA free smell like toxic paint thinner?  It certainly can’t be the BPA that makes these plastic eggs smell toxic, so what is it?  I have doubts that lead alone would smell this way.   One conclusion I’ve certainly come to is that plastic, no matter what form it is in, is only as safe as the chemicals that are in it.  The scary thing is…what are those unknown chemicals that we don’t know about in all of this plastic that comes straight from China?  These toxic fumes have to be the result of more than just BPA and lead.

Much to my relief, I found several on-line companies that sell non-toxic BPA free plastic eggs, that are biodegradable and made in the good ole USA!  Yay!  Where has this grandma been?  I don’t have to take away my grandchildren’s brightly colored plastic Easter eggs after all.  Whew!  

Along with the subject of natural non toxic Easter eggs, a few years ago my daughter Christin and I experimented with natural egg dyes and had lots of fun with it.  You should see what beet juice can do to a boiled egg.  This gave me more to think about.   

From this point forward, this grandma is turning over a new leaf for my grandchildren.  This change consists of using only:

  • biodegradable BPA free, non toxic plastic Easter eggs
  • paper, biodegradable Easter grass
  • natural DIY egg dyes
  • BPA free, non toxic plastic Easter toys and Easter sippy cups
  • Homemade play dough and modeling clay
  • non toxic hugs and kisses….well they could be slightly toxic

Not only do I still want to know what dangerous unknown chemicals are hidden in those plastic Easter eggs that come from China, but I also wonder how many plastic Easter eggs I’d find if I went on a huge egg hunt at a local landfill….enough said!

From this Eco friendly Easter Grandma,

Happy Eco friendly Easter!!

Note:  BPA can disrupt the natural hormone development in children and lead adversely affects development in children without signs or symptoms.