CPSC Issues New Report on Toy Safety System Effectiveness, Shows Recalls Are Down

CPSCDuring the past five years, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have stopped more than 9.8 million units of about 3,000 different toys that violated applicable standards. These products never made it onto store shelves and were kept out of consumers’ homes.

In recent years, the CPSC has created a robust toy safety system by requiring testing by independent, third party laboratories around the world; enforcing stringent lead and phthalates limits for toys; and stopping violative and dangerous toys at ports. This fiscal year, CPSC issued only 31 toy recalls, none of which involved a lead violation. This compares with 172 toy recalls in fiscal year 2008 (19 of which were due to excessive lead); 50 recalls in 2009 (14 for lead); 46 recalls in fiscal year 2010 (3 for lead); 34 recalls in 2011 (4 for lead); and 38 recalls last year (3 for lead).

Overall, toy-related deaths involving kids younger than 15 decreased from 19 in 2010, to 17 in 2011, and 11 last year (based on reports to date). The majority of toy-related fatalities last year were attributed to riding toys, including tricycles and nonmotorized scooters. For kids younger than 15 years old, non-motorized scooters were also the category of toys associated with the most injuries last year. Frequently, these injuries involved lacerations, contusions, and abrasions to the kid’s face and head. [Read more...]

TIA Seeks Input from Members on Proposed Health Canada Lead Limits

tia_logo[1]Health Canada might expand its requirement limiting total lead content in toys sold or imported to Canada. Currently, the 90 parts-per-million (ppm) lead limit is applicable to toys produced for kids ages 3 and under. The expanded requirement would apply to toys produced for kids up to age 14.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) has issued a short survey to learn how this potential requirement might impact the operations of TIA members. The survey asks if the proposed lead content limit would have no impact on companies, and why; would increase testing costs, and by how much on an annual basis; force them to stop selling toys in Canada; or reduce the number of toys sold in Canada.

The survey is available online. Responses are due by October 7. Any questions may be directed to TIA’s Rebecca Mond at (202) 459-0352.

CPSC Approves Mattel’s Request for In-House Testing

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has voted unanimously to approve Mattel’s request to use two more of its own company laboratories for the third-party checks on its toys. The CPSC said Mattel was able to show that its in-house testing would provide equal or greater consumer safety protection than an outside lab.

Under law passed in 2008, the makers of children’s products must perform independent third-party tests for lead, lead paint, and other potential dangers. The legislation has a provision that allows CPSC to consider requests from manufacturers who want to use their own testing facilities for third-party checks.