'Toxic toy crisis' requires fresh solutions

Nov 10, 2010

Manufacturer recalls of toys, promotional drinking glasses, and other children's products constitute an ongoing "toxic toys crisis" that requires banning potentially harmful ingredients in these products and other changes in policy and practices. That's the conclusion of a new analysis in ACS' Environmental Science & Technology.

Monica Becker, Sally Edwards and Rachel Massey note that in June the United States government recalled 12 million promotional drinking glasses sold at a fast-food restaurant chain because the painted coating contained cadmium, a toxic metal. Since 2007, the government has recalled more than 17 million due to high levels of lead.

The report says that these and other incidents have raised concern about the problem of toxic substances in toys and other children's products, many of which are made overseas. The substances include ingredients either suspected or recognized as potentially damaging to children's health. Although government, industry, and advocacy groups have taken significant actions to solve the problem, including restricting the use of certain substances, that response remains inadequate, the scientists say.

The authors recommend several actions for the government, including banning or restricting the use of all substances with well-documented toxicity in toys and other children's products. They also offer recommendations for how the toy industry can be proactive, including establishing an industry-wide list of toxic substances to avoid. "Until significant changes in policy and practice occur, consumers cannot be confident that products they purchase for children are safe, healthy, and environmentally sustainable," the report states.

Explore further: Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

More information: "Toxic Chemicals in Toys and Children's Products: Limitations of Current Responses and Recommendations for Government and Industry", Environmental Science & Technology.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NY senator calls for cadmium ban in kids' jewelry

Jan 13, 2010

(AP) -- Reports of high cadmium content in children's jewelry imported from China have prompted a senior U.S. senator to press for legislation that would ban the toxic heavy metal as a hazardous substance ...

US agency goes after cadmium in children's jewelry

Jan 12, 2010

(AP) -- Federal and state watchdogs opened a new front Monday in the campaign to keep poisons out of Chinese imports, launching inquiries into high levels of cadmium in children's jewelry while Walmart pulled ...

Toys recalled because of lead paint

Nov 08, 2007

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall of six Chinese-manufactured toys because of excessive levels of lead.

Recommended for you

Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

14 hours ago

One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

New challenges for ocean acidification research

Dec 19, 2014

Over the past decade, ocean acidification has received growing recognition not only in the scientific area. Decision-makers, stakeholders, and the general public are becoming increasingly aware of "the other carbon dioxide ...

Compromises lead to climate change deal

Dec 19, 2014

Earlier this month, delegates from the various states that make up the UN met in Lima, Peru, to agree on a framework for the Climate Change Conference that is scheduled to take place in Paris next year. For ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Caliban
1 / 5 (1) Nov 10, 2010
It should be pretty simple. If you manufacture, distribute, retail, or otherwise place a product in the market for consumption, then you should be responsible for the safety of its consumption. Exception of course, being harm arising from some unreasonable usage of the product. Sniffing glue, e.g.

Failure to ensure product safety should be severely fined, and violaters prosecuted, convicted, and jailed. Once this happened a handful of times, the problem would quickly resolve itself throughout the length and breadth of the supply chain, from raw materials, all the way to end product.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.