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A teether is a toy given to teething infants as soothing tool to help soothe inflamed gums during teething. It used to be wooden but now made of plastic & rubbers. Often filled with a fluid or gel that can be frozen or refrigerated.
Similar toy known as Chew toy is also given to pets for the purposes of stimulation and relief from boredom.
Many common baby products, such as teethers, bath books, and sleep accessories, contain toxic chemicals, according to a report released by the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). The toxic chemicals include phthalates and polybrominated diphenyl ethers, both of which have been linked to multiple health problems including the following:
- Impaired brain development
- Learning defects
The European Commission's Scientific Committee announced that they are banning phthalate softeners in baby toys, because of toxic residue in six phthalate that were used in the manufacture of baby toys such as rattles and teethers. The European Union's plastic industry contests the validity of the ban.
Further, some teethers may pose a choking hazard to infants and toddlers depending on the teething parts and have prompted recalls.
- Christen, Kris. "European Union bans phthalate softeners in baby toys." Environmental Science & Technology 34.1 (Jan 1, 2000): 11A(1). Expanded Academic ASAP. Gale.15 Oct. 2009 <http://find.galegroup.com/gtx/start.do?prodId=EAIM>.
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