USA Today outlines movement across the toy industry to remove potentially harmful substances from the products the most vulnerable among us play with and, importantly, gnaw on.
All the positive news is tempered by two facts: One, toys up until this point have been laced with the substances being removed. And two, according to some experts, unsafe levels of some substances, including lead, will remain.
But here's a quick rundown on the progress in toy safety, as reported by USA Today:
Phthalates, an ingredient in plastic that may mimic hormones and disrupt reproductive health even at low levels, will be banned in California in 2009, Washington's state legislature passed a similar ban, and 12 other states are considering them. Retailers are "tightening standards nationwide" in response, according to USA Today. National toy retailers Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us, will "virtually" eliminate phthalates by the end of 2008, and the Senate but not the House has passed legislation that would ban "all but trace amounts" of phthalates in children's products.
Lead content in toys sold at Wal-Mart and Toys "R" Us will be cut, and independent testing will increase.
PVC, or polyvinyl chloride, will be removed from Target-brand lunchboxes, infant bibs, children's utensils and changing tables.
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