Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission held a “Town Hall on Toy Safety” in New York City to discuss with parents the new rules aimed at making toys.
CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum was joined by parents and consumers in his discussion of toy safety. The CPSC provides information on all product recalls, including toys and children-specific products such as cribs and car seats, on its website www.cpsc.gov/. The program centered around new federal safety rules that are in place for toys that will give American consumers greater confidence when they go shopping this holiday season. Chairman Tenenbaum informed the audience that starting this year:
- federal limits for lead in paint on children’s toys dropped to 90 parts per million, which is among the lowest in the world;
- toys for children 12 and younger must now be tested and certified that they meet the new lead in paint limits;
- children’s toys cannot be made or sold with more than 300 parts per million of total lead;
- children’s toys cannot be made or sold with more than 0.1% of six prohibited phthalates;
- and most children’s toys now fall under mandatory standards, instead of voluntary ones.
World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H.), a Massachusetts charitable non-profit corporation, has released its annual “10 Worst Toys List.” Disappointingly, familiar favorites such as Curious George, Wolverine and Batman appear in some form on the ten worst.
Since 1973, the annual “10 Worst Toys” list has identified toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries, and even death. Interestingly, none of the toys on the W.A.T.C.H. list appear on the Consumer Product and Safety Commission list of “Most Wanted.” The CPSC reports that in 2008, 19 toy-related deaths were reported to the federal agency with an estimated 235,300 toy-related injuries in the U.S. resulting in an emergency room visit. A complete report can be found at Toy Related Deaths and Injuries Calendar Year 2008.