Stories Below come from our Media Partner 3BL Media - Click their logo or any of the stories for more information
Toy Safety – An Overview
Updated January 2011
Public anger, expressed in part by the widespread rebuke of elected officials, rising economic pressure on the middle and moderate income family, and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 have all helped to bring about change… slow change…but change never the less in the toy industry, both in the United States and in other lands. Since the screaming and scary headlines of 2007 and 2008, there have been regulatory and legislative steps taken to assure the safety of toys.
Legislation adopted by the US Congress -- while burdensome to some businesses -- set the tone for child toy safety in this country. Also, actions by the government of China, along with those in other Asian nations (the region being the source of the majority of toys sold in America), cracked down on many of the abuses that have led to dangerous and toxic toys being shipped to the USA and other countries. The situation is not fully corrected, but certainly has improved.
According to a recent study (October, 2010), “Just over half of American adults are concerned about the safety of toys being sold this holiday season despite the fact that most have yet to buy a toy recalled for safety reasons.” These results reflect consumer awareness and the concerns of the buying public. Perhaps, this is the best safeguard of all to ensuring safety in the market place.
The issues -- lead in toys, cadmium in child’s jewelry and renewed focus on the possible dangers of Bisphenol A plastics still show that more has to be done. A University of Massachusetts study released in 2010 stated that in the past three years, “…17 million toys have been recalled in the U.S. over high lead levels.” The report highlighted the need to prevent these toxic toys from ever being manufactured.
For all of these reasons and to further protect our infants and children – Hot Topic Toy Safety will continue to focus attention on this continuing serious problem.
Updated January 2008
Over the past five years the number of products manufactured in China and then recalled within the United States by the [federal] Consumer Product Safety Commission has doubled. In 2006, there were 467 recalls of products imported to the US. In 2000, Chinese manufactured products were responsible for 36 percent of all product recalls in the US – and this number has increased to 60 percent of all recalls.
This dramatic increase can be attributable mostly to an increase in toy recalls -- with China manufacturing 70-80 percent of all toys sold in the US, according to the Toy Industry Association.
According to the Toy Industry Association (TIA), the agency has provided toymakers with voluntary safety standard for all toys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) also regulates toys through its own force of inspectors to monitor the marketplace for both domestic- produced and foreign-made toys.
The toy industry -- along with other businesses -- has moved so much American manufacturing to China in order to cut costs, that the industry players are now exposed to growing problems despite regulations, laws and voluntary industry efforts to contain the issues. Public-health experts say Chinese manufacturers repeatedly revert to lead paint regardless of the rules or oversight because it is cheap and readily available, and cutting corners helps factories meet relentless customer (marketers) and retailer and consumer pressures to contain costs. Such violations easily slip through because of regulatory gaps in both nations.
The Chinese government has tried to reassure consumers about the safety of its products. Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai stated in summer 2007 – as the holiday buying season moved front-of-mind in the US -- that more than 99 percent of Chinese exports are safe and of good quality. But, it is that 1 percent that is drawing the attention of American parents. They are seeking answers…they want someone to be accountable and tell them which toys are safe for their children and grandchildren.
U.S. law is pretty clear. The importer is responsible for quality and safety of goods imported into the country," said Erin Ennis, vice president with the U.S.-China Business Council. "But the Chinese can absolutely do more to prevent safety issues." (One consequence of this issue: more Plaintiff Bar lawsuits against US companies.)
U.S. retailers and toy makers, including Mattel, have attempted to devise processes to prevent products with lead contamination and other problems from reaching shelves. But the company systems vary, and these efforts haven't kept problem toys from slipping through the process. Sometimes, toys that have passed inspection more than once are later found to contain excessive levels of lead paint. This is a sign that Chinese companies may have been able to deceive the safety inspections.
Combined with the recent scares in the United States of Chinese-made pet food (2007) and globally of Chinese-made pharmaceuticals and toothpaste, the string of toy recalls is inspiring new demands for stepped-up enforcement of safety by United States regulators and importers, as well as by the government and industry forces in China.
Consumers, advocates, media, and the public sector -- all are seeking stepped-up enforcement of safety by United States regulators and importers, as well as by the government and industry in China.
As the 2007 Christmas season moved into high gear for consumers and retailers, toy safety became a very hot topic -- Accountability- Central Editors focus on news, commentary, reliable data and information, and research, to help all players better understand the issue; seek solutions; ascertain who is responsible; propose solutions; make intelligent buying decisions; and lobby for changes to protect the safety of our children.
We’re interested in your news, views and commentary on these critical issues.
Section Created November 2007 by the Editors
Latest on Toy Safety Imports
May 29, 2012 Hand in Hand with Shenzhen CIQ and GIZ, TUV SUD Powers China Toy Export Enterprises Breaking Barriers to Trade in EuropeSource: EIN News
SHENZHEN, China -- TUV SUD together with Shenzhen CIQ, as well as GIZ held "Workshop of Chinese-German cooperation for proficiency test for toys and training seminar of test engineer for toy safety” in Shenzhen. Almost 30...
Consumers have a tendency to tune out recalls. The result is a lot of unnecessary injuries and deaths. Particularly if you have children, check to be sure they're not sleeping in a dangerous crib or playing with a toy recalled...
May 23, 2012 The shocking truth about toysSource: Fox News
You would never give your baby a lead pipe to chew on or some batteries to play with, but those teethers, rattles, play yards, toy trucks, and books that he plays with? They seem harmless, but the truth is that they could be...
May 21, 2012 NSW: Stores Fined for Poor Toy SafetySource: Safety Culture.com.au
Four Sydney stores have been fined more than $17,300 by the Fair Trading Commission for repeatedly selling toys and accessories that could harm children. NSW Fair Trading commenced a crackdown on toy safety late last year.
May 18, 2012 Aqua-Leisure Recalls Children's Trampolines Due to Fall Hazard; Sold Exclusively at Toys "R" Us StoresSource: MarketWatch
WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the firm named below, today announced a voluntary recall of the following consumer product. Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately...
May 17, 2012 Fines for offenders on toy safetySource: Sky News.com.au
Four Sydney stores have been taken to court for repeatedly selling toys and accessories that could harm children. The successful prosecutions, that resulted in more than $17,300 in fines, follow a pre-Christmas crackdown on toy...
May 15, 2012 Keeping dangerous 'toys' away from kidsSource: Philli.com
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 60,000 young children end up in emergency departments every year because they got into medicines while their parent or caregiver was not looking.
Source: Euro Politics
Enhanced cooperation between the European Union and the United States on toy safety is the aim of the statement signed in Washington DC, on 11 May, by US officials and Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani. The...
May 10, 2012 Monsters in our midstSource: The Star
THERE are some very evil people in China. How else can you explain the weirdest, nastiest things that come out from that country, usually in the name of profit? The latest episode to give me a dreadful case of goose bumps was the...
May 9, 2012 Fewer toxic toys and textiles in EU storesSource: France 24
Europe last year saw its first drop in the number of toxic toys and skin-irritating textiles stacked on its supermarket shelves, more than half of them made in China, the EU said Tuesday.
|HOME | ABOUT THE SITE | REGISTRATION INFORMATION | VOICES: FEATURED COMMENTATORS AND BLOGGERS | SPECIAL SECTIONS|