President Bush is expected to sign a law that would prohibit six types of toxic chemicals, including lead, from being used in the manufacturing of toys for children under the age of 12. If signed, the Consumer Product Safety Commission Reform Act would require testing of children’s toys before sale and would augment the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The act is a long-awaited response to the toy safety crisis of last summer when almost 30 million toys were recalled due to lead paint or other dangerous materials.
Toy safety advocates have lobbied for years for protective legislation in Congress. In the past, manufacturers have responded to questions of toy safety by claiming that injured children were inadequately supervised or by downplaying the risks involved with the toys in question. In response to the tragic death of toddler Kenny Sweet in 2005 from ingesting small magnets, industry lawyer Rick Locker commented, “It’s a shame [Kenny’s death] could have been avoided, perhaps if there was adequate supervision,” Ms. Magazine reports.