Safe Toys Shouldn’t Be a Holiday Miracle

Children love Curious George. Looking at this Curious George doll, you can just imagine a little kid playing with him, hugging him tightly, even kissing his face.

So it would be shocking to learn that the face of this Curious George doll, bought and tested by CEH in 2007, was made with extremely high levels of lead, a stunningly toxic chemical that can cause lifelong learning and developmental problems.

CEH’s work to expose this and dozens of other toys and kids’ products we found with high levels of lead had a major impact. We pressured Congress to act, and in December 2007 we won a holiday miracle when Congress passed the first-ever federal ban on lead in all children’s products.

But that’s just one chemical

Unfortunately, lead is just one chemical in toys that can threaten children’s health. Recent testing has found arsenic, mercury, and other toxic chemicals can still be found in some toys. That’s why we continue to pressure Congress to adopt comprehensive federal rules on all toxic chemicals, requiring chemical companies to demonstrate that their products are safe before they end up in our kids’ toys – or in hundreds of other products we use every day.

In the absence of federal action, we support state and local laws for safer products. In Albany County New York, I testified last week in support of a local rule that would ban the sale of toys and other children’s products containing the most toxic chemicals. Now the County legislature is poised to vote on the issue.

Your Support Matters!

If you live in Albany County (or know friends who do), the legislature is scheduled to vote today! Call your legislator and urge him or her to support the Toxic-Free Toys Act for safer children’s products. And all of us can contact our U.S. Senators and let them know that we want real reform of national chemical rules, so all of our children and families are protected from disease-causing chemicals.

And please consider a year-end donation to CEH – your support helps us continue our work to protect children and families, especially when we can’t count on the government to look out for our health.

Update-January 7, 2015: Today the Albany County legislature adopted the Toxic Free Toys Act! Many thanks to everyone who helped make this happen. Click here to see the Just Green Partnership statement.