Archive for the ‘toy news’ Category

Washington State passes Children’s Safe Products Act !!!

April 4, 2008

Washington state has passed the most stringent toy standards in the nation. The Children’s Safe Products Act regulates lead (90ppm – .0009% by weight), phthalates (1000ppm – 01% by weight), cadmium (40ppm – .0004% by weight), in most toys, children’s cosmetics, jewelry and car seats. Manufacturers who ignore the regulations will be fined – up to $5000 per violation on the first offense and up to $10,000 thereafter!

Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed some portions of the bill. One would have required the state to set up a website with information on dangerous chemicals in children’s products and their (safer) alternatives. The Department of Ecology also no longer has a deadline to come up with a list of chemicals which pose the greatest threats to children, nor do manufactures have a deadline to file notices indicating which products contain them. He also, bizarrely eliminated the introduction which stated in part that exposure to certain metals and plasticizers are “linked to long-term health impacts, such as birth defects, reproductive harm, impaired learning, liver toxicity and cancer.”

Additionally the Department of Ecology has been instructed to prepare rules clarifying that the bill does not apply to internal electronic components that are inaccessible (chip boards, wiring, etc), determine how Washington will fit in with national, international and other state standards so that the standards can protect the most children possible, and to draw up a list of potential chemical hazards in children’s products.

All in all its not a perfect bill, but I think it is a step in the right direction. Hopefully more states and eventually the federal government will follow suit to protect our children from such dangerous chemicals. New York, Maine, Illinois and other states have stronger toy safety rules in the works.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/357287_toys02.html?source=mypi 

Toy Recalls for Lead over the past 30+ years

March 31, 2008

So, I’ve just been having a look at the CPSC’s Toy Hazard Recalls listing. It contains all of the recalls for toys since February 25, 1974 (for a toy chest which apparently could trap a childs head between the front and top of the chest, resulting in at least one death….). It includes the notice on September 2, 1977 when lead was offically banned from paint on all toys and furniture, with only a few exceptions.

The next mention of lead (at least in the titles, its possible theres mentions in the actual articles. I’ll try to determine that over the next few days and post as such), comes on March 4, 1993. It is for a 10,000 puzzles which were imported from Israel, in which the red paint contains lead. From their they become slightly more common, with 3 in 1994 for an art set , toy wagon, and imported crayons all made in China; 1 in 1996 for 32 wooden beads with a cord for stringing , and a set of six spinning tops also all made in China ; 1 in 1998 for decals on pedal cars by Oscar Mayer. And then nothing for nearly 8 years.

In 2006 they crop up again, starting with flashlights fom Little Tikes on March 1st, followed by American Girl children’s jewlery on March 30th, bendable dog and cat toys on August 17th, various “Kool Toyz” from Target on November 15th. And that brings us to the start of 2007, as the recalls continue to trickle in, one after another for the first 7 months of the year (totalling 8 through July) before exploding in August (9), September (10) and October (28).

What of course most people don’t realize is that they didn’t end in October. That they continued on throughout the fall and winter(November: 11; December: 5;  January: 6; February: 6; March: 5) . That they continue even now, with the latest just four days ago.

This is why I am boycotting Mattel and Chinese made toys!

February 3, 2008

These are the kinds of stories that just really piss me off and make me determined not to buy any of Mattel’s products ever again.

56 Members of Congress want to know why Mattel CEO Robert Eckert refuses to issue a nationwide recall for a toy blood-pressure cuff that is contaminated with lead. The affected blood-pressure cuff, sold as part of the Fisher-Price Medical Kit, was recalled exclusively in Illinois after Mattel received a complaint from State Attorney General Lisa Madigan. Legislators want Eckert to stand by a pledge made to reassure a jittery public before the holiday buying season that Mattel would ‘earn back our trust with deeds, not just with words.’

http://consumerist.com/351456/members-of-congress-implore-mattel-to-do-the-right-thing-recall-lead+tainted-toy-blood+pressure-cuff

I’ve been hearing about this for months now. It took a while, but Mattel eventually recalled it in Illinois – where they have stricter laws about lead in children’s products. The CSPC is “investigating” but has yet to take any action. How many other toys are sitting out there in stores and in peoples homes with crazy amounts of lead and other chemicals that simply haven’t been recalled, because Mattel or Hasbro or whomever are too worried about their bottom line?