Reuters: The problem with phthalates.

Imagine a child sitting in his classroom, gazing through the window at the rain. He picks up his pencil and chews distractedly on the eraser at its top. Chemicals, classed in Europe as “toxic to reproduction,” dissolve in his saliva and enter his body. It’s a scenario that may not be unusual. A report published last week by a consortium of 140 environment groups shows that potentially risky chemicals are present in dozens of everyday plastic items for sale by European retailers — from shoes to erasers, from pencil cases to sex toys. Read more here.

Postmedia News: Kids’ jewelry shows high levels of toxic metal cadmium: Health Canada documents.

Three in 10 pieces of children’s jewelry tested by Health Canada for cadmium in the past year were made of as much as 93 per cent of the highly toxic metal, internal government test results show.The Health Canada records, released exclusively to Postmedia News under access-to-information legislation, show 28 of 91 samples tested since last fall contained cadmium levels greater than Health Canada’s established limit of 107 mg/kg. Read more here.

Politico: Industries heat up over boiler rules.

The biggest environmental battle of the year isn’t necessarily the most obvious. Industry lobbyists and lawmakers are working feverishly behind the scenes to water down rules aimed at slashing cancer-causing pollution and other toxic emissions from boilers that provide power or heat to refineries, shopping malls, and other facilities. Read more here.