Toys Need Regulating (Washington Post)

Charles Margulis, The Washington Post

It seems odd to suggest that concerns about lead in children's toys are
"misplaced" simply because there are also other risks in toys
[Business, Sept. 12]. Design flaws can always occur, but since sources
of lead are well known, it should be a simple matter to eliminate lead
threats in toys. Parents are rightfully upset that toy companies have
failed to do so.

Some people may be reassured that toymakers are finally doing
voluntary spot testing. But the federal government still has no safety
standard for lead in children's products and has not required or
standardized testing. In contrast, our settlement in California
lawsuits with more than 90 companies established the first legal limits
on lead in children's jewelry and standardized jewelry testing.

Like the recent recalls, our legal work occurs after dangerous products
are marketed. We can expect similar recalls until comprehensive federal
regulation bans lead in toys and requires premarket testing for
hazardous chemicals in children's products.

CHARLES MARGULIS

Communications Director

Center for Environmental Health

Oakland, Calif.

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