Here's step Five:
Pay attention (without freaking out) to the toys you buy for your kids. Avoid lead paint and soft plastics that contain phthalates.
Didn't this one fall in a timely manner? Read here about one way to look at the CPSIA. I totally agree that children need to be protected from the proliferation of toxins in their toys, clothing, high chairs, and so on. But, I do see some faults in the proposed government regulation.
That being said, what should we parents be doing? Well, my favorite idea is to reduce the amount of toys the children have... plastic or otherwise : ) I see my children greatly benefit from an afternoon outside, totally free from toys of any kind. Given enough practice, children will come up will all sorts of pretend games. And, they'll even find the props they need to enliven their games. Creativity takes practice, but it breeds bright, content children as well. And, then there are books! My favorite job as a parent is reading aloud from exciting and stimulating children's literature.
A second idea is to search for locally-made or hand-made toys. The internet is replete with small eco-friendly toy businesses. Or, you could shop your local craft fairs.
In looking for toys, check to see what is made in the USA. We really enjoy Melissa and Doug products. (See our faves in my Amazon Store.) They make everything from Tool Sets to Puzzles, Dollhouses to Jewelry Kits. Really, you could keep your children entertained for their entire childhood just with M&D toys! Even when Thomas the Train was recalled for lead paint, M&D had a safe option. Read their Toy Safety Statement.
What's so bad about phthalates? Read about it on EWG's enviroblog.