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CPSC sued over toxic chemicals in toys

December 5, 2008 by  

Some toys could harm a child's healthThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is not adequately protecting American children from toxic chemicals in toys, according to the claims of a new lawsuit.

As of February 10, 2009, the CPSC will no longer allow toys containing phthalates to be sold in the U.S. Phthalates are toxic chemicals that have been linked to abnormal reproductive development in some studies.

However, the group said that even after the ban is enacted, toys manufactured before that date will still be permissible for sale.

The Natural Resources Defense Council and Public Citizen say in their lawsuit that this loophole "will cause both direct harm to individuals exposed to these chemicals in children’s products and consumer confusion about which products sold in stores comply with the phthalate ban," according to Reuters.

They are calling for the CPSC to change the law so that there is a complete ban on phthalate-laden toys after February 10th.

Earlier this year, a study published in Pediatrics suggested that babies absorb phthalates from products such as baby lotion, baby powder and baby shampoo.

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  • chris adkins

    This is a joke. You’d have to suck on these toy’s for fifty years to get enough chemicals to cause any damage. It’s junk science.

    • Doc Art

      Dear Chris…(everyone)

      Show me the NON-INDUSTRY and independent studies which supports your position.

      As a former FDA investigator, I had investigated “benzene” in rubber baby bottle
      nipples that were highly toxic. The FDA didn’t say anything about it…the public was unaware…as such, today, industry-funded science and government regulators cannot be trusted on what is safe, and what is not, as the government and these corporations
      are almost completely enmeshed as one. This subverts the public good.

      Therefore, it is up to each of us to help and support one another. We can no longer defer to government or corporate deceptions as to what is safe any longer.

      So, in the future, you may not want to off-handedly discard credible, empirical data, even when called “anecdoal”…. Because its just the corporate way of side-stepping the issues…

      Either prove that this is a safe substance that a child can be exposed to for 5 or 6 years, along with all the other toxins in the foods, environments, and vaccines, or rule on the side of prudence and wisdom, and participate in helping your fellow citizens get control of these corrupted systems.


  • Bob Livingston

    I’m not sure on the harm of phthalates in the dosage amounts available in these toys, but it’s well-known that xenoestrogens from plastics cause estrogen dominance and lead to all sorts of problems for both children and adults. It’s prudent to be aware of how plastics are used in our homes and lives and limit exposure where there is opportunity for exposure to plastic chemicals. Bob.

  • KeriAnn Wells

    The research on phthalates was compelling enough for the EU to ban products containing the chemical years ago.

  • Judith collier

    Now that you guys scared the living beejeezies out of me…….. I bought a new toy for my youngest grandchild (soft, colored blocks that the toddlers can chew on) I sent for a copy of the co.s testing on this(haven’t gotten it yet) and thanks to you I can check for phthalates. This was made in China but I called the co.(great idea for a baby) and they said all their toys were tested here in the states but I wanted to see the test.

  • Allan

    What the H are you doing buying something from China. Buy made in America, or Canada. When they start giving tax breaks to industry they might relocate again to America. Government isn’t satisfied with all the taxes they receive from an operating industry, or the taxes they receive on your gas purchases, cigs, phone taxes, electric bill taxes, social security from your paycheck if you are lucky enough to have a job. You pay, sewer taxes, water taxes, school taxes plus a hundred more. You pay CEO bonus’s when you purchase an item. The big boys did themselves in, and now they are starting to cry. Two years on the pay scale of average worker would be the best education they could ever receive. They wouldn’t screw up America again.

  • memecaster

    I’ll bet, Chris, you would be the one to say “government shouldn’t be in the toy approval business?” I find Arthur’s response and grasp of the Realities more in line with my thoughts. Prove its safe or you don’t get to expose us. No one has a right to profit at any degree of externalizartion once those costs are recognized. Yes, I’m the guy that would tax big motored toys off the roads, except for legitimate hauling requirements. And drunks would get no more than one ticket ever….

    Chemicals interact and there is simply no way to “study” this fact unless one has unlimited resources and time…life must go on, so we go with the simple- prove non harm. Course this would put BIGPHARMA out of business in a hearbeat. No tears. And those Lead/phthalate/melamine using products would be banned banned banned. Funny how we got to NEED all that “cheap” junk isn’t it!

    I’ll trade off “convenience” today for certainty of my long life tomorrow. What’ll you pick?


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