Toy Industry Association (TIA) Statement on Chemicals in Toys

All toys sold in the U.S. must comply with a network of strict toy safety regulations to protect children at play, including the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act -- more than 100 toy safety test and requirements.  Among other protections, these regulations make it illegal to sell toys or children’s products containing substances harmful to children and to which they might be exposed.

As an industry that creates magical products for children, toy companies are held to a higher standard of care. This is why the Toy Industry Association (TIA) works year-round to ensure that U.S. toy safety standards remain the most protective in the world.  If a toy fails to meet these tough national standards, we want that product out of the stream of commerce.

As a normal part of doing business, manufacturing organizations often consider a range of material options to use in their products to meet functionality, manufacturing efficiencies, and, importantly, product safety requirements. TIA believes that alternative materials considered for a toy should be fully vetted to ensure that the substitution does not compromise performance or safety.

Similarly, we believe that before an alternative to an existing ingredient is proposed for use in a product intended for a child, careful consideration must be given to the scope of that substance's use or presence in a toy, the level of exposure to the substance, and the associated effect or risk from a proposed substitution, including how these parameters compare with those of the original material. All aspects of safety must be considered — not just chemical safety, but also mechanical, electrical, flammability, and other aspects of a holistically safe product.

Before NGOs or government entities advocate for the banning or restriction of a substance, alternatives must be shown to be safer than the original ingredient in all aspects of safety; failure to do so could create a situation that reduces safety rather than improves it.

Members of the toy industry will continue to work with medical and child development experts, engineers and scientists, as well as government and consumer representatives to maintain the stringent toy safety standards and regulations that take into account all aspects of a product’s intended use.  We support ongoing scientific research that can help inform these standards, strengthen them and reinforce the safety of toys.

Keeping children safe when they are playing with toys always has been, and always will be, our industry’s top priority.

This statement was originally published in June 2014 and was updated by the Toy Industry Association in October 2015.