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After highlighting Safbaby's research on PVC-free doll options, we had a lot of parents asking a more specific question, “What about the good old plastic dolls with hair instead of yarn? My daughter really wants to be able to brush and play with her doll's hair.”
Because we love our readers, we started our search right away. Just as quickly, we realized that the perfect safer doll would be yet another elusive challenge. Here's what we found . . .
Q: Do the American Girl, Barbie, Talking Dora, Little Mommy dolls contain PVC?
A: All of our products meet or even exceed the standards recommended by the FDA (okay, by now we can repeat that tired old response in our sleep).
Q: So, do the dolls contain PVC?
A: Our material lists are proprietary.
We've never had such a difficult time locating a number to reach such a large, widespread company.
Q: Do the Bratz, Bratz Babyz, Zapf Creation Baby dolls contain PVC?
A: We don't use PVC in any of our dolls.
Q: You don't use PVC at all, not just phthalate-free PVC in ANY of your dolls??
A: That's correct.
We were so hopeful, but when we hopped over to HealthyToys.org, we found test results on a Bratz Kidz Jade doll in June 2007. They found PVC almost everywhere.
We'll be following up with MGA again to see if we can talk with someone from their Q.A. Dept. to verify what the story is on their materials.
Q: Do the Baby Alive dolls contain PVC?
A: Yes, they do contain PVC in several areas.
How refreshing! We were bummed out, but at least we got an immediate and straightforward answer!
Q: Do Carpatina dolls contain PVC?
A: Our dolls are latex-free, but they definitely contain PVC.
Well, one more honest answer.
Q: Do Madame Alexander dolls contain PVC?
A: My information says that any of our dolls made with PVC are phthalate-free.
Q: Can you tell us which dolls contain PVC and which don't?
A: Our Project Manager is out of the office, so I'll have to refer it to him when he returns.
We'll be checking back in soon and will update this brand as soon as possible.
*IMPORTANT UPDATE 1/21/10: On 12/3/08, we were told on two separate calls (speaking with different reps and eventually the Project Manager) that the entire line of Madame Alexander Sweet Baby Nursery dolls were specifically made without PVC (and thus phthalates) because they are meant for babies who will mouth the dolls. We were told that the other collector dolls may contain PVC, as they are not are not intended for young children who may chew on the dolls. They asked us to be clear about the fact that none of their lines (other than the Sweet Baby Nursery dolls) had been tested for PVC.
Today we received an email from a blog reader stating that they had been told that all Madame Alexander dolls are made with PVC. We made a follow up call today to re-confirm and were sadly disappointed to learn that this is true! The staff member we spoke to said emphatically, “There is no such thing as a PVC-free doll.” She did confirm that all of their dolls are phthalate-free.
If you have purchased a doll based on the information we provided here, we apologize. Please be sure to take all new vinyl dolls out of their boxes for an extended period of time to off-gas before giving them to your children.
Q: Do the Tiny Baby Dolls with plastic head, hands and legs contain PVC?
A: Yes, they do contain phthalate-free PVC. They are also made with fair trade organic cotton bodies filled with polyester.
Keptin-Jr is definitely on the right track, but still not PVC-free.
Overall our search was unsuccessful. We're still hoping to connect with several other companies, and we'll update our list with any new findings. In the meantime, you may want to stick to the list of PVC-free dolls provided by Safbaby.
It's our hope to see a major shift in the market next year as parents insist on more PVC-free options, just as we've witnessed with the decrease in use of BPA in baby feeding products.