Washington State toys with stricter children's product standards

April 1, 2008

A proposal for stricter manufacturing standard by the state of Washington has the toy industry pledging to stop selling toys in the Evergreen State.

A proposal for stricter manufacturing standard by the state of Washington has the toy industry pledging to stop selling toys in the Evergreen State.

Currently, the federal standard for lead in products for children is 600 parts per million. The Washington State bill, which breezed by the state legislature and is expected to be signed into law in days, would go into effect in July 2009. It would shrink the parts per million of lead, as well as toxic metals such as cadmium and on poisonous chemicals.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 40 parts per million of lead in children's toys, a level that not even the Washington bill would accomplish. But the bill would require new rounds of testing for all toys sold in the state. Some toy companies threatened to stop selling there altogether, rather than spend the money to prove their toys are safe.

A half-dozen other state have similar bills that would impose more stringent safety requirements on toys than the federal government mandates. The federal Consumer Products Safety Commission has taken criticism for not policing the nation's store shelves, which have seen a record number of recalls, many of which were for unsafe and dangerous toys.