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U.S. States Impose Their Own Toy Safety Regulations Following Mass Recalls Involving Lead and Other Hazards

This week, Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire signed into law the Children’s Safe Products Act, which imposes the toughest restrictions yet for lead standards for toys among the U.S. states. The law decreases the legally allowed limit for lead in toys from 90 parts per million to 40 parts per million, which is the limit that the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. The law goes into effect beginning July 1, 2009.
The current federal limit is 600 parts per million, and many state lawmakers have expressed dismay that the federal government isn’t acting faster to change its lead safety standards.

The lead-related recalls continue. In March, toy recalls involving high levels of lead paint included:

  • 130 ring toss games by Educational Insights
  • 13,000 Hobby Lobby Stores Camouflage Eggs and Spinning Egg Top Toys
  • 5,000 S.U. Wholesale X Force Commander Toy Airplanes and Super Famous Toy Cars and Motorcycles

On March 17, representatives for giant toy manufacturers Mattel and Hasbro met with Governor Gregoire and asked her to reconsider signing the bill into law. Mattel says that half of its Fisher-Price toy line will have to be barred from the state of Washington because the level of lead in its toys exceeds the state’s new limit. A few smaller manufacturers, such as Toysmith and Kaethe Kruse Puppen GmbH, say they will stop shipping toys to Washington altogether.

Michigan and Illinois have also approved new lead safety standard laws, while Maryland, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Maine, and Vermont are among several other states that are reevaluating their safety regulations so they can regulate mercury, lead, phthalates, and other toxins, such as Arsenic, Selenium, and Barium, in toys. California will begin its ban on phthalates next year.
The Minnesota Safety Council says that there were 202,300 toy-related injuries in 2005. One child getting hurt or killed by a toy is one child too many.
Our products liability law firm represents clients throughout the United States whose children were seriously injured or killed because of a defective toy or another dangerous product.
One of our consumer products safety lawyers would be happy to discuss your case with you.
Washington: Restrictions on Chemicals in Toys, New York Times, April 2, 2008
States Alter Rules of Game On Safety for Toy Makers, The Wall Street Journal, March 25, 2008
Recalled Toys and Children’s Products, US PIRG
Toy Injury, Minnesota Safety Council
Related Web Resource:

The Children’s Safe Product Act of 2008, Washington Toxic Coalition

Contact Gilbert & Ollanik P.C. today.

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