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U.S. PIRG annual report on toy safety – what’s the main takeaway?

With holiday crunch-time quickly closing in, the last thing parents want is to come home empty-handed for fear that the year’s most popular toys may not be safe for their children. Fortunately, that wasn’t the case in 2012 and it shouldn’t be this year, according to the U.S. PIRG, which has found that toys on today’s shelves are safer than ever before.

Parents should continue to exercise vigilance, however, and take some precautions to prevent avoidable harm to their children, like choking on small toys and parts.

One chemical commonly found in plastic and that has received the attention of activist groups in years past is phthalates. Phthalates are very versatile and are primarily used to make vinyl flexible, which can improve the performance and durability of many consumer products, like garden hoses, wire and cable.

Phthalates, however, are not expected to be in children’s toys because of regulatory and market changes in 2009.

As parents continue to shop for their children this year and the next, it’s important they know that American chemical manufacturers and toy makers continue to abide by strict federal safety standards in creating and marketing their products.

According to the Toy Industry Association, “All toys sold in the U.S., regardless of where they are made, must be tested to verify compliance with rigorous U.S. toy safety requirements.” In addition, more than a dozen federal laws, overseen by the EPA, FDA and others, create a safety net to oversee the safe use of chemical products.

Members of ACC also abide by the mandatory Responsible Care® Product Safety Code, which represents our industry’s commitment to make safety a core value in how our products are made, sold, delivered, used and disposed.

So, as parents shop for their children’s presents this season, they can walk the aisles confident that toys are safer now than ever before.

For more information about toy safety, visit

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