February 22, 2008 —
In the ongoing unsafe and negative public relations saga of toxic toys, major toy chain Toys “R” Us recently announced its efforts to reduce the toxins PVC (polyvinyl chloride) plastic and lead used in the toys they offer for infants and children.The company stated it’s future goal is to have all toys they carry PVC-free, and for now are working to reduce the amount of PVC in their toys.
For toys manufactured for Toys “R” Us exclusively, the company is now applying purer standards for lead percentage: taking the federal government allowance of 600 parts per million down to 90 parts per million in surface coatings. Lead screening machines will audits products to help identify problems before they get to the consumer. Testing frequency will be stepped up using third party testers.
The company has set a target date of year-end 2008 to completely phase out PVC from juvenile toys in their Toys “R” Us stores and catalog, and as well for the Babies “R” Us line. In toys that use batteries, the company is requesting manufacturers to eleminate nickel-cadmium batteries from all toys.
Michael Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice, noted: "Toys "R" Us new PVC-free goal is good news for our children's health, safety, and well being. PVC toxic toys often contain dangerous chemicals such as phthalates and lead. These toxic chemicals have no place in our children's toys and should be eliminated from store shelves everywhere they are currently sold so that no potential harm comes to any child who might otherwise come into contact with them. We
call on Toys "R" Us to take the next step by setting clear benchmarks and timeframes for phasing out toxic PVC toys in order to prevent harm to our children's health."