Law Library Articles
During 2007 and 2008 after the pet food recalls and the recall of children's toys due to lead paint concerns, some journalists and consumer groups had pet toys tested to determine whether those toys contained lead. Numerous news reports were circulated confirming that there were some pet toys on the market that had positive levels of lead. However, the toys tested that had levels of lead, the vast majority were not considered high levels under the standards set for children's' toys. See the following articles for their claimed findings. (Please note that not all of these articles are objective.)
During this period some retailers also began to require testing of products to see if they complied with the lead standard set for children's articles. Many retailers now require quality assurance testing for a variety of potential hazards. The tester must ensure that all labeling requirements are met including for California's Proposition 65, and country of origin labeling and must test for lead and other safety concerns. These retailers may require standards that are greater than those required by regulation. If you are interested in testing your products APPA has a web page in the Regulatory Section of the APPA web site that lists laboratories that will test pet products. Many of these will test pet toys to determine lead content as well as durability.
CPSC Lead Level Standards
The CPSC has lead standards for children's products. The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 requires the quantity of lead in children's products to be reduced through a phased in approach. The law mandated a phased-in ban on lead in all children's products and provided for changes in how lead content in paint is tested and calculated.
Which products must meet this regulation?
According to the CPSC Information Sheet, "the ban covers paint or any other similar surface coating that contains more than 0.06% lead (lead containing paint). It also covers toys or other articles intended for use by children and furniture coated with lead-containing paint. Pieces of furniture such as beds, bookcases, chairs, chests, tables, dressers, and console televisions are covered by the regulation. Appliances such as ranges, refrigerators, and washers, fixtures such as built-in cabinets, window, and doors, and household products such as window shades and venetian blinds are not. While paints for boats and cars are not covered by the ban, products sold directly to consumers or which consumers use in homes, schools, hospitals, parks, playgrounds, and other areas are. Therefore, products intended for use by children and furniture located in these types of places may not have more than 0.06% lead when children or consumers will have direct access to the painted surface."
A number of states have been taking actions to increase protections of chemicals in children's toys and other children's products. Twenty states have or are contemplating laws that are in some cases stricter than what Congress envisions.
Many states are also considering banning or limiting the use of Phthalates and other plastic softeners for children's toys and other products.