Toy Town Hall Reviews New Safety Rules
NEW YORK – At a Town Hall meeting held yesterday, Consumer Products Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum was joined by parents and consumers to talk toy safety. Traditionally, sessions like this one are industry sessions; this one included consumers, in anticipation of the upcoming Christmas toy season.
The discussion centered around new federal safety rules that are in place for toys. 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 percent of six prohibited phthalates;
- Most children’s toys now fall under mandatory standards, instead of voluntary ones.
“It is important to make safety a priority when making your holiday toy purchases this season,” said Chairman Inez Tenenbaum, in a press release. “CPSC has worked hard this year to give parents and grandparents greater confidence that the toys they seek to purchase have enhanced safety protections for children.”
So far in calendar year 2009, CPSC has had 38 toy recalls, which is down from 162 in 2008 and 148 in 2007. Toy recalls involving lead paint are also down. This year there has been 14 recalls involving lead, down from 63 in 2007 and 85 in 2008. CPSC attributes this decline to increased enforcement at the ports, cooperation with other nations, consumer awareness and education and compliance by the industry with new federal safety rules.
For 2008, the Commission has reports of 19 toy-related deaths and about 172,700 hospital emergency room treated toy-related injuries to children under 15. Almost half, approximately 82,300 were to children younger than 5 years of age. Most of the deaths were associated with drowning, motor vehicle involvement, or airway obstruction from a small toy or small part of a toy.
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