'One third of Chinese toys, e.g. Mattel, contain toxic heavy metals' that can cause permanent damage to a child’s nervous and immune system.

Source: The Telegraph

Almost one in three toys in China contains heavy metals, with one in 10 containing excessive levels of lead, according to new research.

 A wide range of toys and children’s products, including those sold by reputable brands, apparently contained either lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury, antimony or chromium. All six heavy metals can cause permanent damage to a child’s nervous and immune systems.
The US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that there is no safe threshold for lead exposure and that children, if possible, should never be in contact with it.
Researchers from Greenpeace and IPEN, which campaigns against chemical pollutants, bought 500 toys and children’s products in five Chinese cities in November, including Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.
They tested them with hand-held X-ray scanners and found 163 (32.6 per cent) of the toys were tainted. The highest reading, from a green toy ring, contained more than 1,200 times the amount of lead permitted under European safety standards.
"These contaminated toys not only poison children when chewed or touched, but can enter the body through the air they breathe," Ada Kong Cheuk-san, a Greenpeace campaigner told a press conference in Hong Kong.

 Most of the toys tested are available only inside China, but some belong to brands that are also sold overseas. Two toy cars made by Mattel, under its Speed Machines and Hot Wheels brands, were found to contain arsenic, although it was not clear if they were made by the same factories that produce toys for the British market.

A spokesman for Mattel said: "The testing method cited is a screening tool and does not determine accurate information for compliance. It is disappointing that IPEN did not work with toy companies to address alleged findings. Mattel is currently reviewing the report, but has no reason to believe that the organisation has provided accurate or reliable information."

In the past decade, toys made in China, which produces two thirds of all the toys in the world, have repeatedly been shown to be toxic, despite attempts by regulators to address the issue. In 2007, Mattel was forced to recall roughly seven million toys, including hundreds of thousands of die-cast toys, for containing excessive levels of lead. It explained at the time that its factory in China had outsourced production to another firm, which had then used an unauthorised type of paint.

The heavy metals are usually used in the paint or pigments that colour the toys. Some Chinese manufacturers expressed their surprise that there was still widespread contamination in the industry. The owner of Rongjun Toys Industrial in the southern city of Shantou told the South China Morning Post that she was shocked that Greenpeace had named one of her products, a toy car, for containing excessive levels of lead.

"We have received a quality certificate from a government-authorised agency," she said. "Our products should be heavy metal-free."

In July, a new, tougher, European directive on toy safety came into force. The directive limited the use of 19 heavy metals, an increase from the eight that were controlled previously.Chinese factories complained it would push up their costs and squeeze their margins.

For Disclaimer and Fair Use Information - See My Pages

No comments:

Post a Comment