California’s “Priority Products” List Under Safer Consumer Products Regulations

Toys are safe.  Federal law already requires that any substance known to be harmful to kids and to which a child might be exposed be banned from use in a toy.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) list of “Priority Products” includes product types that the DTSC believes could include a material of concern, even though there may be no actual exposure or risk of harm to human health or the environment.

The inclusion of a type of toy or game on the DTSC priority list does not mean that the product poses a health hazard or that a risk of any type has been identified.  It does mean, however, that manufacturers of products identified on the DTSC’s list will be forced to conduct extensive and expensive analyses to determine whether alternative materials exist and are suitable for use in the manufacture of their goods.

The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and its members will comply with the current law; we will also continue to support any scientific research and innovation that can help improve or reinforce the safety of toys.  But California’s Safer Consumer Products Regulation creates a complex and costly process that is unlikely to provide additional value for the already highly-regulated toy industry. This state law is redundant with federal safety laws that are already in place to protect children and with which all toy companies must comply.

The release of the draft list of “Priority Products” and the opportunity for public comment will hopefully provide real, valuable information for the DTSC to study going forward. In the meantime, TIA will continue to urge the DTSC to focus on implementing the regulation through a science-based approach that focuses on exposures to chemicals where there is a risk of harm and to acknowledge and prevent duplication and/or inconsistency with other state and federal requirements. 

Safety remains the toy industry’s top priority; nothing is more important to us than the well-being of children and the trust of their parents.