Toxic Toys: Game Over -- Environmenta...

Toxic Toys: Game Over -- Environmental Pollution, Minnesota

There are 10 comments on the Hartford Courant story from Mar 30, 2008, titled Toxic Toys: Game Over -- Environmental Pollution, Minnesota. In it, Hartford Courant reports that:

With toxic toys flooding American markets and with corporate and federal leaders doing little to address the crisis, it's time for Connecticut to stand up with other states and say enough is enough.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Hartford Courant.



#1 Mar 30, 2008
Yes there really need to be standards, and why not national and international ones? That would be simpler and safer. Info on standards and the latest recalls is always available on phones and PCs at bi


#2 Mar 30, 2008
not sure why that link is cut off, I meant to post bi

Deland, FL

#3 Mar 31, 2008
It's not true "Mattel was forced to recall more than 25 million Chinese-manufactured toys after they were found to contain dangerously high levels of lead." Mattel conducted voluntary recalls, and it is misleading to say they contain "dangerously high levels of lead."
The US government regulates and enforces high standards, which is why we saw recalls. Our Consumer Products Safety Commission developed the recall system very effectivly and it has become the international standard. Regional or State laws would vary so much that consumer prices would increase dramatically. More restrictive standards are already in the US House and Sentate. It only makes sense to let the national standards be enforced and updated.
Simone Pearson

Kingston, Jamaica

#4 Mar 31, 2008
This is a very insightful and well-expressed article by Dr. Cha.
Quin Dodd

Bethesda, MD

#5 Apr 1, 2008
Facts. Are facts relevant to the author at all? The CPSC budget was increased 27percent for the current fiscal year. The bracelet the boy in Minnesota swallowed was not a toy and presumably would not be banned under the Connecticut bill. Until this year the CPSC has not had any permanent "port inspectors" although it has had upwards of 80 field investigators that did inspections at ports. 600 parts per million for lead paint on toys is the statutory standard enacted by Congress in 1978, so the Commission has no authoirty to lower it (although there are bills that have passed both the House and Senate that would do so). And there have been no studies credibly linking phthalates to negative human health consequences and at least one federal study showing not enough phthalates can be absorbed through mouthing toys to even raise a concern. Makes one for the days when newspapers and their writers actually checked facts.

United States

#6 Apr 1, 2008
It continues to amaze me how the uneducated and uninformed get to write such biased information that people assume is tru. LEt's deal with some facts:
First - Mattel did not recall over 25 million toys due to lead. The vast majority of the recalls were due to loose magents.
Second - You state the government did nothing to address the lead issue. When you look at the recalls, all of them failed the federal standard! Why would the government need to do anything more with the law when products fail the law???
Third - Everyone seems to be crying for a lower limit of 40 ppm, when in fact 600 ppm is sufficiently low to ban the presence of lead. MAnufacturers simply do not intentionally put lead into products at levels below 600 ppm. Lowering the limit would only make companies spend lots of money chasing "ghosts". LAbs make mistakes on readings, and lowering th elimit to 40 ppm would increase false positives.
Lastly - Phthalates and BPA are the most misquoted, misunderstood issues being quoted by uneducated journalists. All reports by credible scientists (both in the US and Europe) indicate these are not a concern in the amounts exposed to in a lifetime of use. Europe's own scientific commission recommended AGAINST the ban in Europe. It only got passed as law for political reasons, not safety. Check your facts!!!
Charles McKay MD

Hartford, CT

#7 Apr 1, 2008
I guess it is good that Attorney Cha's piece is published in the Commentary section - then again, using fear to twist facts into a political agenda isn't just commentary. To equate a lead-related death from a charm containing >80% lead by weight (that's 800,000 ppm) to the miniscule and clinically meaningless 40 or 600 ppm as "an alarming public health threat" is just fear-mongering. No child has or ever will be harmed by the residual lead in paint at these levels - and if your child eats a couple pounds of paint from these toys, you probably should worry about something else entirely! The entire point of toxicology is dose - the existence of something doesn't make it toxic; it is the amount and whether a susceptible person is exposed to it. That is not an issue with these supposedly "toxic toys".
Mijin Cha

Brooklyn, NY

#8 Apr 10, 2008
It is a shame that people want to gamble with the health and well being of children. The EU has rejected the report lowering the risk of phthalates. Connecticut legislative leaders should be proactive, not reactive, when it comes to protecting children from toxics. Washington state was brave enough to do so. What exactly is the downside to lowering levels of toxics that our children are exposed to?

Arlington, VT

#10 Apr 11, 2008
Children do need to be protected from dangerous products, but your article does not say how this proposed law would be implemented. Many retail outlets are national--there are thousands of toys that would have to be reviewed and monitored. I assume the state would have to pick up the cost for this. Wouldn't it be simpler to require all toys to be labeled according to their lead content? Also, toys companies that meet the standards that you recommend could apply for the equivalent of the "Good housekeeping seal of approval." There could be a fee for this process and this would put the cost burden on toymakers where it belongs. Then consumers could decide. Hey, it worked for dolphin-free tuna.

United States

#15 Apr 12, 2008
When are we going to bring back American manufacturing? Screw the Chinese.

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