discovery toys blog of billie elias
Tips for parents who play with their children or who want stay-at-home income.
Toys for special need, autism, gifted and typical kids.

January 04, 2010

Consumer Product Safety Commission as Grinch?

In her article in The Wall Street Journal on 12/24/09, There Is No Joy in Toyland, Anne M. Northup suggests, "The overreach of a child-safety law is killing American jobs and businesses. It's not too late for some common-sense changes."

In February 2009, I reported on the Consumer Product Safety Commission's policy regarding limits of lead levels in children's products. Little did we realize at that time that many small toy concerns would be forced to eliminate jobs or to shut down their businesses completely, due to the cost of enforcing the policy. It seems the unscientific folks in Congress didn't realize that a zipper may contain lead that is not able to be easily absorbed into a child's bloodstream, unlike lead in paint. They also made the requirements so stringent that it bans some toys with less lead than the Food and Drug Administration allows in a piece of candy. Fortunately, the commission has agreed to take another look at such things as treating a 12-year-old toy and an infant toy identically.

In its 31 year history, Discovery Toys can boast no recalls. Read about their quality and safety promise. I wish that some of the larger manufacturers' greed hadn't spoiled it for an entire industry. At least when you shop with us, you know you're buying something that is safe and fun for your child.


Danielle said...

What is the company's take on BPA in plastic toys? Are some or all toys BPA free?

Billie said...

I will try to find out for you.

Billie said...

This is all I've got so far. Since there are no government regulations (yet?), there is no comment yet. When that information is available, I will bring it to you.

What I have been able to learn from my own research is that BPA helps make clear plastics shatterproof, which seems somewhat desirable to me. I also learned that colored plastics don't usually contain it, but that CDs and DVDs (found in most of our homes) do contain this material. These plasticizing materials are essentially inert (not chemically active) until they come in contact with other materials, and then the only way to determine if they have become hazardous is through testing. This is why we have the EPA, FDA and other regulatory bodies. We at home would not likely have the laboratories required to test for a wide variety of interactions. Phosphoric acid and citric acid and other ingredients found in commonly consumed beverages could possibly interact with BPA, especially given enough time, but water (inert) or physiological saline are not likely to interact. Some of this info I gleaned through conversations with an organic chemist (my dad), others from a website devoted to Bisphenol A.

Billie said...

It took awhile, but sometimes good info is worth waiting for. The Quality Assurance person gives this reply:

What is BPA?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical found in
polycarbonate plastic (clear, shatterproof
plastic). Polycarbonate is used in a wide
variety of products including toys due to its
shatter resistant properties; however some
laboratory studies have linked BPA with ad-
verse affects in laboratory animals in very
high doses. There have been no extensive
studies on the effects of BPA in humans,
though it is clear more research is needed.

What is being done about BPA?
There is a great deal of conflicting scientific
information on BPA. Many health officials
have confirmed there is not enough scien-
tific evidence to prove BPA poses a health
risk to humans. The U.S. Food and Drug
Administration have called for additional
studies on the chemical.
Did you know that BPA is not currently
regulated in toys?
That’s right…there are no regulations for
BPA in toys. The Consumer Product Safety
Commission has not banned the use of this
material. There are some states that have
banned BPA in children’s drinking bottles
and food containers for children under
three. Canada as recently as last month
has also banned infant drinking bottles. The reason for this is because the chemical
can leach into hot liquids from food con-
tainers. Toys have not been a part of any of
this recent legislation.
Discovery Toys is so committed to safety
and quality that we too have been review-
ing our product line, working closely with
our manufacturers and seeking alternative
materials if BPA is being used. We truly
mean it when we say: Discovery Toys meets or exceeds all toy
safety regulations set forth by the U.S.
Consumer Product Safety Commission and
the Canadian Hazardous Products Act.

Can we tell our customers Discovery Toys
products are BPA free?
No, but here is what you can say:
• The entire infant line is BPA free.
• BPA is found in clear plastic, so you can
be assured by visually looking at our line
that most Discovery Toys would not ever
have contained BPA. We will continue to provide updates on this
important subject as information becomes

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