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Potentially Toxic Toys in MA Don't Stop with Fisher Price

August 3, 2007

Massachusetts toxics watchdogs say the latest Fisher Price toxic toy recall isn't an isolated incident. They're pushing a bill that would force manufacturers to replace toxic chemicals with safer alternatives. Yesterday, Fisher Price announced the recall of one million of its toys, citing paint with toxic levels of lead. And in addition to the Fisher Price recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site says ten other children's toys have been recalled this year for chemical poisoning hazards. Lucia Dolan from Newton is a mother of three.

"One of my children sticks everything in their mouth. You know it's worrying because obviously they're ingesting little bits of it, and you can't be 100 percent sure what's on any of the toys."

The bill in the state legislature would require companies to replace ten known toxins. Opponents of the bill say forcing corporations to abide by a single state's law isn't logistically feasible, and making the change would be bad for business.

Manufacturers in Massachusetts are already required to review chemical use and come up with plans to reduce toxins. Joel Tickner, director of the Chemicals Policy Initiative at U-Mass Lowell, says the "Safer Alternatives Bill" would make sure products coming from outside the state were also safe.

"We still have chemicals coming in, products that come from out of state, which present risks to public health and the environment, and this law would address those as well."

Tickner notes there are eight states discussing similar bills. Currently, the Consumer Product Safety Commission doesn't have the authority to test children's products before they're put on the shelves, so monitoring toxics is left to the manufacturers.

Kevin Clay/Eric Mack, Public News Service - MA