We were delighted with today’s news that both TRU and Wal-Mart have raised the bar on safety standards for toys. Not waiting for Congress to act, these two super retailers are moving the industry along in producing safer products.Both retailers are joining California in banning phthalates (a softener added to plastics that has been linked to serious health risks) and reducing the levels of surface coated lead way below the current federal standard of 600 ppm (parts per million) to 90 ppm. What’s left? We will continue to call for the same reduction in embedded lead. Only the state of Illinois regulates the levels of embedded lead (requiring toys sold in the state to have levels below 600 ppm). The CPSC reports that a child died from lead poisoning after ingesting a charm that had excessive levels of embedded lead. This is a real risk that also needs to be addressed in all products for children.We need the government to follow the market–set the standards and require mandatory testing.