Thursday, December 11, 2008

Toxic chemicals found in 3/4 of soft plastic toys in Canada

From The Ottawa Citizen:

Some toy manufacturers, including Hasbro and Mattel Inc., stopped using phthalates in their toy lines after the law changed in Europe. And more recently, retail giants Toys R Us, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Sears Canada have announced that their shelves in North America will not be stocked with toys containing phthalates in 2009.

But other toy manufacturers continue to use phthalates because alternatives are more costly. And they will be able to sell their products elsewhere in Canada after the U.S. market is closed to them in the new year.

In Canada, a proposal to ban phthalates is more narrow, and will not take effect any time soon. Consultations on a Health Canada proposal to ban one type of phthalate, known as DEHP, from products that young children commonly put in their mouths ended in September 2007, but the department has yet to publish draft regulations.

Harold Chizick, spokesman for the Canadian Toy Association, said the industry is "moving away" from phthalates, and will follow the rules established by Health Canada.