Friday, June 28, 2013

Do your household products or kids’ toys have scary stuff in them?

Find out at PTMSC’s “X Out Toxics” event July 13 

Have you wondered if your children’s toys or clothing, your bedroom pillows or living room cushions have flame retardants or other hidden toxics in them? The Port Townsend Marine Science Center (PTMSC), in partnership with the Washington Toxics Coalition, is holding an ”X Out Toxics” event on Saturday, July 13th from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. so you can find out. Bring your items to the Natural History Exhibit at Fort Worden State Park and get them scanned by an XRF Analyzer. The event is free with standard admission to the exhibits: $5 for adults, $3 for youth and free to PTMSC members.

The portable XRF Analyzer, formerly confined to laboratory use, safely uses x-ray fluorescence to detect certain chemical elements such as lead and other heavy metals, bromine (indicating the presence of brominated flame retardants) and chlorine (indicating the presence of PVC/vinyl).

“We might worry about toxic chemicals, but it's out of the reach of most people to get tangible evidence of what’s present in our homes and everyday life,” said Jean Walat, PTMSC Program Director.  “If you’ve had a concern about a specific item in your home, bring it down to be analyzed. Although the XRF doesn't show the presence of all potentially hazardous chemicals in objects, this is a great opportunity to become more aware of what's in our personal environments.”

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