When it seemed like other countries *cough* CANADA *cough* were leading the way in banning unsafe chemicals from toys and baby products, the US Congress finally joined the 21st Century and banned phthalates, with state bills being credited for leading the way.
As my Cool Mom Picks co-founder Liz Gumbinner stated last year, 2007 was definitely the “Year of the Recall,” as too many toys to count were taken down from shelves (well, at least they were supposed to be) due to high lead levels. But the improbable has now happened and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act has passed “with a veto-proof majority.”
The Bill will ensure that toys are free of brain-damaging lead (hello!) but also it will target six types of phthalates that can disrupt hormonal development in kids. Additionally, instead of toys hitting the market and then getting recalled, the bill will require that all toys be tested independently for lead and other hazards before they even hit the shelves.
In the hopes that this bill will be enacted quickly, the much criticized Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received a whopping $25 million to create a website. Let’s hope it actually puts some fire under their butts.
In the mean time, parents should still be on the alert, particularly as the holiday season approaches, and might consider shopping at stores with toys that have been safely tested against super high standards until we can see the act come to fruition.
Some of my favorite family-run shops include:
And if you’re really stuck, don’t forget the Cool Mom Picks Safer Toy Guide.
Feel free to share your favorite safe toy shops!
[This post was written by Kristen Chase.]