Last year was a record-setter when it came to recalls and warnings about dangerous childrens toys, especially lead paint laden toys imported from China. In response to the much-publicized controversy, Congress strengthened the Consumer Product Safety Act of 1972 (CPSA) to prohibit the sale and distribution of childrens toy or child care articles containing excessive levels of toxic substances beginning on February 10th, 2009. Almost incredibly, the agency charged with enforcing the CPSA, the General Counsel of the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (the Commission), actually tried to weaken the enforcement of the law by issuing an advisory opinion letter that would have permitted the sale of toxic items after February 10, 2009, if the products were manufactured prior to that date. U.S.
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One in Three Children's Toys Tested Found to have Significant Levels of Toxic Chemicals Including Lead, Flame Retardants, and Arsenic
The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization, and partners across the country on December 3, 2008, released the 2nd annual consumer guide to toxic chemicals in toys at www.HealthyToys.org. Researchers tested over 1,500 popular children's toys for lead, cadmium, arsenic, PVC and other harmful chemicals in time for this year's holiday shopping season. One in three toys tested were found to contain "medium" or "high" levels of chemicals of concern. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last month announced that in 2008 toy recalls had dropped to 74 from 138 in 2007. Toy recalls in 2007 included toys containing lead paint, dangerous magnets and in one case, a chemical that left children temporarily comatose.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has its list for the holidays, that is its annual holiday safety messages. Parents and gift buyers are encouraged to check it twice. Released on November 12, 2008, CPSC, joined by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Safe Kids Worldwide, reminded parents to be diligent when making holiday shopping choices. For 2007, the Commission has reports of 18 toy-related deaths and CPSC staff estimates that there were about 170,100 hospital emergency-room treated toy-related injuries to children under 15.
Recalls of Children's Toys for Lead Paint Issues Fly Under the Radar In This Last Holiday Shopping Season Before Tough New Safety Standards for Toys Take Effect
Although the publicity was much greater last year, 45 children's toys have been recalled due to lead paint issues so far this year. The toys include Casper the Friendly Ghost Halloween Figurines, xylophones, jewelry and classroom reading and math aids. But overall, toy recalls are down 46 percent from last year, it was announced at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)'s annual toy safety news conference this past week on November 12. According to the CPSC, toy recalls had dropped to 74 in 2008 from 138 in 2007. Toy recalls in 2007 included toys containing lead paint, dangerous magnets and in one case, a chemical that left children temporarily comatose. The CPSC attributed the drop in recalls to increased surveillance by the agency, including stepped up inspections at nine ports, stronger v
In an earlier blog, we wrote about conflicting conclusions being drawn concerning the safety of bisphenol A, or BPA. The National Toxicology Program (NTP), which is part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found that BPA is of "some concern" - the midpoint of a five-level scale - for effects on development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children. In contrast, this past August the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) concluded that the small amounts of BPA that leach out of containers and into food or milk are not dangerous. But more recently a Food and Drug Administration advisory board voted to say that the agency ignored critical evidence suggesting that BPA could harm children.The FDA's science board, a group of outside experts, voted unanimously to endorse a report that found major flaws in the agency's decision in August to declare BPA s
Yo-Yo Waterball, Bearing Risk Of Strangulation, Target of Legislation in New York; Childrens Product Safety and Recall Effectiveness Act of 2008 Also Signed Into Law
New York Governor David A. Paterson signed into law a bill prohibiting the importation, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of dangerous yo-yo waterball toys, and providing for enforcement by the attorney general. The New York State Consumer Protection Board has issued two warnings calling yo-yo waterballs a serious hazard to children. The second warning was issued after a five-year-old girl from the Rochester area was nearly strangled by the toy`s long elastic cord. Similar to other choking incidents involving yo-yo waterballs, the elastic cord became wrapped around the child`s neck after she had been twirling it above her head. The cord was wrapped so tightly that her father had to use a pair of scissors to cut the cord. The victiim's mother said that her husband found their daughter "blue in the face." Governor Patterson also signed the Childrens P
What parent could not be concerned upon hearing worrisome reports that bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical used in many polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins such as plastic baby bottles, is dangerous to their newborns. The federal government and others are now studying this issue, but are not reaching the same conclusions as each other. Most recently, a final report released September 3, 2008, by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), finding that BPA is of some concern for effects on development of the prostate gland and brain and for behavioral effects in fetuses, infants and children. Some concern is the midpoint of a five-level scale, ranging from negligible to serious, that the NTP uses. Advice from toxicoligists includes the following: Watch for the numeral 7 on the bottom of plastic containers. That often means they contain BPA. Dont microwave plastic food containers made with BPA. Better to use glass or porcelain. Watch out for canned f
Injury Estimates for the Top 25 Product Groupings in 2007 from the Consumer Product Safety Commission
The Consumer Product Safety Commissions National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) provides the agency and other federal agencies with critically important incident and injury information. More than 34 million consumer product-related injuries were medically treated annually from 2004 through 2006. Of these injuries, it is estimated that more than 13 million sought treatment at U.S. emergency departments. Below are statistics from the 2007 NEISS Data Highlights showing Product Grouping/Estimated Number of Injuries: 1. Stairs, Ramps, Landings, Floors 2,324,938 2. Beds, Mattresses, Pillows 560,129 3. Bicycles & Accessories 515,871 4. Basketball 481,011 5. Chairs, Sofas, Sofa Beds 476,109 6. Football 455,193 7. Bathroom Structures & Fixtures 330,102 8. Non-glass Doors, Panels 321,665 9. Tables, not elsewhere classified 309,252 10. ATVs, Mopeds, Minibikes, etc. 278,671 11. Baseball, Softball 277,702 12. Exercise, Exercise Equipment 264,92
Do You Think The Food and Beverage Industry Can Self-Regulate Its $1.6 Billion Marketing Towards Children and Adolescents?
A report of the Federal Trade Commission, Marketing Food to Children and Adolescents: A Review of Industry Expenditures, Activities, and Self-Regulation, finds that 44 major food and beverage marketers spent $1.6 billion to promote their products to children under 12 and adolescents ages 12 to 17 in the United States in 2006. The report finds that food advertising to youth is dominated by integrated advertising campaigns that combine traditional media, such as television, with previously unmeasured forms of marketing, such as packaging, in-store advertising, sweepstakes, and Internet. These campaigns often involve cross-promotion with a new movie or popular television program. The Children's Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative was launched in November 2006 by the Council of Better Business Bureaus to provide companies that advertise foods and beverages to children with a transparent and accountable advertising self-regulation mechanism. The Initiative is aimed at sh
Toy Industry Announces Safety Coordination Initiative in Response to Unprecedented Recalls of Dangerous Products
In response to toy safety concerns raised during the summer of 2007 and the record number of unsafe toys recalled last year (and doubtlessly a number of product liability lawsuits), the U.S. Toy Industry Association (TIA) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) have formed the Toy Safety Coordination Initiative, a developing program that is designed to improve the safety of toys sold in American and to rebuild consumer confidence in the safety of toys in the American marketplace. The purpose of the initiative may be two-fold: to increase toys' safety and to head-off stricter federal and state laws. The program has three components: 1. Design Hazard Analysis - A requirement for a risk assessment or design hazard analysis to be conducted on all new toy designs. Industry analysts say