As the annual American International Toy Fair opens in New York, two of the largest toy retailers have announced new guidelines to cut kids exposure to lead and to phthalates in their toys.
This is great news for kids!
Last year more than 25 million toys in the US were recalled because they contained lead, known to damage developing brains and nervous systems. Phthalates are chemicals used, among other things, to soften vinyl. Some phthalates are hormone disruptors that have been linked to possible reproductive problems and birth defects, and even to smaller penis size in boys.
Now Wal-Mart and Toys R Us (and their Babies R Us stores) have taken the lead in requiring independent third-party lab testing of each batch of toys imported to the US for sale in their stores to slash kids’ risk of being exposed from their toys.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is expected to issue a statement this week with new recommendations, and much-needed legislation to protect kids from these environmental toxins is in process – but I am thrilled that Wal-Mart and Toys R Us have not waited for this legislation to be finalized. My hat’s off to you both.