Hidden Filth & PVC in Bath Toys

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/03/10 •  4 min read

Last updated on July 5th, 2022 at 12:50 pm

I’ve been watching this week’s series of “expose” reports concerning Hidden Filth on the Today Show this week.  Today they discussed the filth lurking in children’s bath toys.  My purpose for reporting it is two fold.  First, I knew bath toys could harbor mold which is why I try to air dry the kids toys each night.  However,

I was nicely ignorant to just how gross they could possibly be.  A group of mothers surrendered their kid’s bath toys to the Today Show for testing and what they found was frightening.  Fecal matter (alarming levels), staph and e. coli bacteria in just about every single toy.  The worst offenders were bath squirties or toys with holes that allow water to get trapped inside. If you watch the report, the scientist splits open a toy shark to reveal a hotbed of black bacteria and mold.

How Does Bacteria Get Ito Bath Toys?

The bath water you bathed the child in has become a “bacteria soup” they called it which the toys marinate in.  Additionally, since the tub is usually situated near the toilet, flushing can spread germs, bacterial and fecal matter as far as 20 feet. (I don’t even want to think about what that’s doing to toothbrushes).

Tips To Keep Bath Toys Clean and Safe?

Bath Squirties And Containing PVC and Bacteria.

During the report, they showed kids in the tub gnawing on bath squirties and toys that were all clearly made of PVC which is a really toxic type of plastic.  It pained me! To me, that’s worse than some exposure to e. coli.  The reporter also replaced the confiscated bath toys with a big PVC duckie.

PVC can and often contain Phthalates (which softens the plastic to make it squishy), and chlorine.. not to mention the incredible strain on the environment it causes to create it.

Do you know that “shower curtain smell”?  That’s you inhaling the off-gassing plastic and phthalates.

Safer Bath Toy Options

Throw out bath squirty toys. They are impossible to clean, and potentially a real hazzard.

Instead of choosing toxic PVC bath squirties and ducks, I recommend the Boon Bath Toys that are just as good, if not way cooler and more fun:

Boon Odd Ducks – They come in 4 shapes and fun colors, are PVC Free and have no holes where water can get trapped inside (I like Squish.. he’s cute, but we also have Bob and Slim who make a regular appearance in our tub)

Boon Scrubble Interchangeable Bath Toy Scrub Set – These squirties all come apart and you can run them through the dishwasher… they’re PVC-free and my kids love them.  Boon also makes a ring toss called Boon Splat Floating Ring Toy and a Water Bugs Floating Toys set that are good fun.  We have all of those too, haha!

There are other PVC free bath toys but many have holes in them, making cleaning tough to do, or are made from a badly off-gassing foam (think foam letters) so I really prefer the Boon Toys over many others (so do my kids). If you have any PVC-free bath toys you love that are not Boon, please let me know about them in the comments!