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China action on lead paint in toys long overdue

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Consumers Union: China Action on Lead Paint in Toys Long Overdue

Washington, DC—China’s agreement with the U.S. government to eliminate the use of lead paint on toys exported to the U.S., which was announced today, is long overdue, according to Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. The U.S. first banned lead paint on toys in 1978.
“All exporters, including China, have an obligation to comply with U.S. law when exporting to this country,” said Donald Mays, Senior Director of Product Safety Planning and Technical Administration for Consumers Union. “The flurry of recent recalls has undermined confidence in the safety of toys. Parents need to trust the toys they buy won’t harm their children.”
“China faces huge challenges in enforcing adherence to US safety standards in products it exports to this country,” added Mays, “However, we are encouraged by the fact that U.S. toy manufacturers and retailers have indicated that they want federally-mandated third-party testing of children’s products.”
On Wednesday, Congress begins probes of toy safety and a recent rash of recalls, with CU’s Sally Greenberg testifying before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee. Greenberg will reiterate CU’s position to make producers, importers, distributors, and retailers accountable for the products they import and sell in the U.S.
CU also will repeat its request that greater resources be given to the Consumer Product Safety Commission charged with policing the safety of the nation’s products, including giving the agency the funds necessary to conduct more inspections and levy meaningful penalties for safety violations.
Just yesterday, Consumer Reports Safety Blog released a new e-catalog that features a comprehensive list of recalls on children’s jewelry for high lead content. With more than 40 recalls on kids’ jewelry, consumers can now go to the Safety Blog and browse an easy-to-identify photo gallery of jewelry pieces recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.


Jennifer Fuson, 202-462-6262
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