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.
A few weeks ago we announced that going forward companies would have to comply with our new safety guidelines when submitting a toy for review. We now require companies to sign off that their product has ZERO lead and ZERO phthalates. This means that the product may not have surfaced coated or embedded lead. Currently the federal government allows up to 600 ppm of surface coated lead and has no regulations as to embedded lead or phthalates. For more details on the differences between the two types of lead, visit www.toyportfolio.com. We have also indicated to past award winners that if they would like to be listed on a lead free list, they need to supply us with the form.
So far the number of companies that have complied: zero.
We will keep you posted. We will start posting the names of the companies that do comply. A number of companies have been in touch to let us know that they are working on it – but as of today, we have not received a single signed form.