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Archive for the ‘kids toys’ Category

Help Save Handmade Toys in the USA from the CPSIA (from http://sites.google.com/site/handmadetoyalliance/)

The issue:
In 2007, large toy manufacturers who outsource their production to China and other developing countries violated the public’s trust. They were selling toys with dangerously high lead content, toys with unsafe small part, toys with improperly secured and easily swallowed small magnets, and toys made from chemicals that made kids sick.  Almost every problem toy in 2007 was made in China.

The United States Congress rightly recognized that the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) lacked the authority and staffing to prevent dangerous toys from being imported into the US. So, they passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in August, 2008.  Among other things, the CPSIA bans lead and phthalates in toys, mandates third-party testing and certification for all toys and requires toy makers to permanently label each toy with a date and batch number.

All of these changes will be fairly easy for large, multinational toy manufacturers to comply with. Large manufacturers who make thousands of units of each toy have very little incremental cost to pay for testing and update their molds to include batch labels.

For small American, Canadian, and European toymakers, however, the costs of mandatroy testing will likely drive them out of business.

  • A toymaker, for example, who makes wooden cars in his garage in Maine to supplement his income cannot afford the $4,000 fee per toy that testing labs are charging to assure compliance with the CPSIA.
  • A work at home mom in Minnesota who makes dolls to sell at craft fairs must choose either to violate the law or cease operations.
  • A small toy retailer in Vermont who imports wooden toys from Europe, which has long had stringent toy safety standards, must now pay for testing on every toy they import.
  • And even the handful of larger toy makers who still employ workers in the United States face increased costs to comply with the CPSIA, even though American-made toys had nothing to do with the toy safety problems of 2007.

The CPSIA simply forgot to exclude the class of toys that have earned and kept the public’s trust: Toys made in the US, Canada, and Europe.  The result, unless the law is modified, is that handmade toys will no longer be legal in the US.

If this law had been applied to the food industry, every farmers market in the country would be forced to close while Kraft and Dole prospered.

How You can Help:
Please write to your United States Congress Person and Senator to request changes in the CPSIA to save handmade toys.  Use our sample letter or write your own.  You can find your Congress Person here and Senator here.

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Our children’s toys are filled with alot of crap! Check out this article and the site from healthytoys.com.

Following are some other highlights of from the healthytoys.org study:

* Lead: When children are exposed to lead, the developmental and nervous system consequences are irreversible. Recently the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended a level of 40 parts per million (ppm) of lead as the maximum that should be allowed in children’s products. Nevertheless there are no federal regulations for lead in vinyl or plastic toys, or children’s jewelry. The only existing standard is for lead in paint. Healthytoys.org found lead in 32.2% of the products tested. Twenty-four percent (24%) of the products had levels above the 600 ppm federal recall standard used for lead paint! The testing detected more than 6,700 ppm in animal figurines, 6,000 ppm in a Hannah Montana shoulder bag, 1,931 ppm lead in a Toys R Us Geoffrey brand doll and 1,700 ppm lead in a pair of Circo baby shoes.

* Polyvinyl chloride (PVC/vinyl): HealthyToys.org determined products were made with PVC plastic by measuring their chlorine content. PVC is the worst plastic from an environmental health perspective because it creates major hazards throughout its life cycle and contains additives that are dangerous to human health. Phthalates are chemicals that are very commonly added to PVC to make it soft and flexible; however, they can leach out of the plastic. Exposure to phthalates is linked to birth defects of the genitals and altered levels of reproductive hormones in baby boys. There are currently no federal regulations limiting phthalates in children’s products. California recently passed a ban of several phthalates in children’s products, and Europe has restricted the use of phthalates in children’s toys and child care items.
*

Cadmium:: Cadmium is a heavy metal that is used in coatings and pigments in plastic and paint. It is a known human carcinogen, and exposure can cause adverse effects on the kidneys, lungs, liver and testes. Currently there are no restrictions on cadmium in children’s products in the U.S. Healthytoys.org found cadmium at levels greater than 100 ppm in 2.9% of products — 20 products total, including painted toys, PVC toys, backpacks, lunch boxes and bibs.

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