Monday, June 22, 2009

The end of rubber ducky

I'm sure that I'm not the only one to react to the following story with shock and dismay:Canada to pull plug on ‘rubber duck' chemicals:
Health Canada plans to ban the “rubber duck chemicals,” six compounds widely used in the manufacture of soft plastic children's toys, after similar restrictions in the United States and the European Union.

Scientists have raised alarms about the compounds, known as phthalates, because they may block the production of testosterone, a critical male hormone.

There is growing scientific evidence – disputed by makers of the chemical – that everyday exposures can cause a slight feminization of baby boys, particularly during fetal development.

Phthalates are among the most common chemicals added to plastic, making it more pliable and less brittle. They are also found in cosmetics and other personal care products, although the new Health Canada regulations would not cover that variety, known as DEP.

Health Canada also said it would propose a cut to the amount of lead allowed in consumer products, such as paints on toys and children's jewellery.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement that the measures would “help ensure that products intended for children are safe.… This is part of our overall effort to ensure that families have confidence in the quality and safety of what they buy.”
And, so, in memory of the passing of our dear friend the rubber duck, I offer you this musical interlude: