Phthalates Ban in Washington on the Horizon

By Kristie Turck •  Published 03/26/08 •  2 min read

Last updated on July 30th, 2008 at 01:02 pm

Even though a lot of parents are taking measure’s into their own hands by not buying toys containing PVC and phthalates, this is a time of change and I see it boiling in the wings. Already, California is instituting a ban on phthalates due to take effect next year. Next state in the spotlight is Washington. On March 7th the Children’s Safe Products Act passed the state Senate on a vote of 40-9.

The bill will eliminate three toxic chemicals, lead, cadmium, and phthalates, from toys and other children’s products. It will also require manufacturers to report whether their products contain other chemicals found to be of a concern for children’s health. Washington Toxics Coalition

Toy companies, as you can imagine, are not happy about this new move since Washington makes up about 2% of total U.S. toy sales, which last equaled $23.5 billion in annual revenues last year. It’s no wonder toy companies are scrambling. Representatives from Mattel and Hasbro sat down with the Gov. Chris Gregoire:

In a last-ditch effort to stop the measure, representatives of Mattel Inc. and Hasbro Inc., the country’s two biggest toy makers, met with Gov. Gregoire March 17, according to people familiar with the matter. At that meeting, and elsewhere, these people say, Mattel has told Washington officials that half of the products made by its Fisher-Price unit, which specializes in products for preschoolers, would be barred from the state if the law is adopted.

Boo Hoo. Way to throw your sucker in the dirt there Mattel. How about making your toys safer instead? There’s a novel idea. Ban on chemicals in toys and kids products is a fight worth fighting and more states are getting on the ban wagon.

Congress is considering new federal lead limits and other toy-safety standards but isn’t moving fast enough for sponsors of bills in 29 state legislatures. Illinois and Michigan have already enacted new lead laws, which aren’t as tough as the Washington bill. A ban on phthalates is due to take effect in California next year. The TIA says it has hired lobbyists to battle legislative proposals in 10 states, including Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Vermont and Wisconsin.

Read it all here, great article: The Wall Street Journal: States Alter Rules of Game On Safety for Toy Makers