Retailers stop toying with standards

No more child’s play for retailers when it comes to selling toy products.

Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart recently announced stricter standards for their toys’ product safety requirements such as increased quality assurance testing and reduction or phaseout of certain chemicals and metals in toys.

Toys “R” Us said all of their products in the US must be manufactured without phthalates and to not use nickel-cadmium batteries, if applicable, by the end of 2008. The company also already started replacing polyvinyl chloride in their juvenile products.

Wal-Mart requires its toys to have a maximum level of 0.1% phthalates, while the maximum level of total lead should be 90 ppm on a toy’s surface coating and 600 ppm for in accessible components of a toy.

The US Toy Industry Association is currently proposing a stricter toy testing and safety verification systems for toys sold in the US. In Europe, the European Commission is also proposing new more stringent rules especially regarding the use of chemical substances in toys.

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