BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — Easter is just a few days away and there is concern about some of the plastic eggs you may be using, for your Easter egg basket and hunts.
Environmental activists are raising concerns about chemicals found in plastic Easter eggs. ABC23 spoke with Dr. Chris Fadeff, a family doctor for the Dignity Health Medical Group Bakersfield, about the dangers of exposure to some chemicals that could be found in these items.
“There has been question about long term issues, including infertility possibly relationships to diabetes and attention deficient disorder,” said Fadeff. “So, it is best to avoid them if possible.”
These are some of the possible side effects of exposure to phthalates, one of the chemicals found in common plastics sold at the 99 Cents Only store, after testing was done by Campaign for Healthier Solutions.
The group has targeted several companies to try to list ingredients in their products, including plastics eggs.
“We need to protect our communities,” said Mayka Tapia, volunteer with Lideres Campesinas.
The environmental activist and Bakersfield resident, Tapia, protested this week at the 99 Cents Only headquarters in Commerce, California.
Tapia, along with other environmental groups are asking to give shoppers a list of all ingredients of their products and add more toxic free ones.
Tapia says a solution is to use real eggs for your Easter activities instead of plastic ones.
“[You] can carefully take the inside [of the egg] out and save those and color them,” said Tapia.
Fadeff says a side effect of these chemicals can be changed behavior in children.
“For example, with lead, more specifically dealing with Easter eggs and things this time of year—if a child is exposed to a low-grade amount it could take months if not years, but an acute amount could show signs in an hour.”
Fadeff added that, it is safer to use products made in the U.S. versus elsewhere, because other places may not have the same restrictions.
“I would want to see ingredients. If there is no label or no ingredient, I would be worried, especially if you are at a place that is discounted,” said Fadeff. “And if it's just some big bulk item and you don’t know where its coming from, I would stay away from that.”
Tapia tells me an executive from the 99 Cents Only store did say they would meet with them soon.
“We want to see how they are going to approach the community and how many years we are going to have to wait and how they are going to do it,” said Tapia.
Tapia says she doesn’t want to see the 99 Cents Only Store shut down, but wants to work with them.
ABC23 reached out to the 99 Cents Only store and they did not have a comment.