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New Lead Safety Standards Go Into Effect After Holiday Season

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Wednesday, September 17, 2008 1:27 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Toxic Toys, Defective and Dangerous Products, Lead Standards, Phthalates, Toxic Substances, CPSC


IMAGE SOURCE: iStockphoto/ boy playing with blocks/ author: Matka_Wariatka

By February 10, 2009 all children’s toys and products must meet new, stricter lead standards no matter when the products were made, according to a newly released legal opinion by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The opinion outlines the agency’s official guidelines set forth for businesses and states companies are able to sell their existing products that are soon-to-be banned up until February 10.

After which, retailers and manufacturers will need to destroy any toys and products that don’t comply with new limits.

The new lead paint limit is part of a product safety measure that became law on August 14. The law says that by February 10, children’s products cannot have a total lead content above 600 parts per million.

The new decision goes into effect AFTER Christmas and won’t affect toys on sale for the holiday shopping season. In the meantime parents can get a lead test kit to ensure their children are playing with safe toys and products.

While critics say they only test for lead on the surface, Leadcheck marketing says you can find lead elsewhere if you scratch beneath the surface.

“It’s as accurate as any test. There’s nothing more accurate on the market. You can’t get a negative test. It’s impossible to get a false positive because the chemistry will only react with lead,” Don Robart tells IB News.

The test kit is small and swabs are about the size of a cigarette, small enough to test covertly in the aisles of Toys R Us. The test kit costs $18.45 for eight swabs and can be used on all toys and even jewelry for older children, sometimes overlooked by parents as a potential lead source.

Along with stricter lead limits, the new product safety laws also allow the CPSC to ban certain types of phthalates, a chemical used in plastic to make it soft and flexible that has been linked to reproductive problems.

Retailers such as Toys R Us and Wal-Mart have already pledged to phase out phthalates from their toys.

For more information, you can read the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. #

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