After the many toy recalls that occurred in the past year, parents may find some reassurance in a recent announcement from two large retailers. Toys “R” Us and Wal-Mart have adopted improved safety checks for all toys imported into the United States.
Toys “R” Us products brought into the U.S. will have to undergo third-party lab testing and will be required to meet more stringent guidelines for lead content. By the end of 2008, all products sold at Toys “R” Us and Babies “R” Us will be prohibited from containing phthalates, chemicals that have been linked to possible reproductive problems and birth defects. Wal-Mart announced a similar set of enhanced safety standards for its products.
Toys “R” Us said that these new guidelines will apply to all toys shipped on or after March 1, 2008. Last year, 25 million toys were recalled due to lead paint hazards and defective designs.