The Toy Association's Public Statements
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) assures parents and caregivers that Bisphenol-A (BPA) is safe for use in toys, given both its limited scope of use and limited risk of exposure in toy and game products.
Toys sold in the United States are prohibited from containing heavy metals or any other substances that can result in harmful exposure to children. By law, toy companies must ensure that their products are in compliance with all relevant standards, regulations and tests – including applicable heavy metal limits – before they can be sold in this country.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and its members are proud of the important, life-shaping role that toys, games and play have in the development and growth of children. With the rise in childhood obesity rates sparking public health concerns, parents are rallying alongside medical professionals to call for a return to active play – that which stimulates the body by encouraging kids to run, jump, and stretch.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and its members are proud of the important, life-shaping role that toys, games and play have in the development and growth of children. Play is an integral component of an educational, happy, healthy, and well-rounded childhood.
No toys intended for children and sold in the United States have been found to be dangerous based on their sound level.
U.S. toymakers are committed to ensuring the safety of the toys they produce. Batteries – especially small, button-size batteries – can pose a serious health hazard if swallowed.
Consumers have every reason to trust the safety of the three billion toys sold in America each year. All toys sold in the U.S., regardless of where they are made, must comply with strict U.S. standards. It is the responsibility of the companies selling products in this country to make sure that those toys are safe. Regular testing by government-approved independent laboratories provides an additional verification of a company’s compliance with strict U.S. federal regulations.
Safety is the toy industry’s top priority. All toys sold in the United States must conform to stringent federal safety standards such as the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Not only do these toy safety standards contain tough flammability requirements, they also restrict the use of substances known to be harmful to children and to which children might be exposed.
All toys sold in the U.S. must comply with a network of 100+ strict toy safety regulations, tests and requirements designed to protect children at play, including the Federal Hazardous Substances Act, the Consumer Product Safety Act and the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. 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.
Toys are subject to numerous safety standards, including FDA regulations related to the use of lasers. Most “laser-like” toys on the market employ harmless LED lights to simulate lasers; any toy that uses actual laser technology and falls under current FDA definitions for laser products must comply with FDA rules for low-power lasers.
Magnets can provide a fun and educational component to a toy. Strict federal toy safety standards prohibit the use of certain powerful magnets in any piece of a toy that is small enough to be swallowed and is intended for children under 14 years old.
Working alongside medical experts and government officials, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) helped establish the first federal standards for lead in children’s products nearly 40 years ago.
The Toy Industry Association (TIA) and its members are proud of the important, life-shaping role that toys, games and play have in the development and growth of children. Toys themselves do not promote aggressive behavior. As Jeffrey Goldstein, Ph.D., author and professor of Media and Communication at the University of Utrecht in The Netherlands, has said: "There are no 'violent' or 'nonviolent' toys. There are simply toys, many fashioned after objects found in the adult world, and others inspired by fantasy objects found nowhere else.” Quite often, military and other role-play items may help kids work through or cope with what is happening in the world around them through play rather than through outwardly aggressive behavior.
Though toys comprise less than 1% of the typical household waste stream, there is an industry-wide understanding that everyone has a role to play in support of sustainability.
U.S. toy safety standards are among the toughest in the world and U.S. toymakers are committed to ensuring the safety of the toys they produce. It is equally important that parents and caregivers take an active role in ensuring safe and fun play.
TIA believes that children derive great benefit from a well-rounded day of play that can involve a combination of many types of toys, including digital playthings. We also believe that parents and caregivers are crucial partners in their child’s play and learning, and are ultimately responsible for selecting the playthings that are appropriate for the child’s age, interests and abilities. Active adult supervision and engagement during playtime is essential.
Based upon information provided by experienced engineers, safety authorities and manufacturers of the instruments involved, the Toy Industry Association (TIA) believes that X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) technology may be reliably used as an initial screening mechanism, in the hands of a well-trained operator, for detecting the potential presence of certain substances in toys, as long as prescribed test methods are followed and the appropriate standard reference materials are used. A “positive” XRF result merely indicates that further comprehensive testing must be done by a lab accredited by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to confirm the presence of the substance.
Because its products are specifically for children, the toy industry holds itself to a particularly high standard of safety. All toys sold in the United States, no matter where they are produced, must conform to rigorous safety standards and laws. The toy industry works hand-in-hand with government agencies and other groups to protect consumers from products that violate these strict laws or that present a hazard. Recalls are an important part of this robust system, creating a “safety net” to remove faulty product from the distribution chain and, when necessary, out of consumers’ homes. The toy industry has a remarkable record of producing safe product – typically, only 0.01% of the three billion toys sold each year are recalled.
Specific restrictions on the presence of phthalates – ingredients that make some plastics soft and pliable – in toys and child care articles are defined in Section 108 of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), a federal law that passed in 2008.
Expandable gel balls are items intended for children over three years of age. Because they are designed to increase in size when exposed to water or other liquids, expandable gel balls could potentially create an internal obstruction if swallowed. Such expanding materials used in toys are subject to restrictions ensuring that they cannot create such an obstruction, but many non-toy items (such as florist supplies intended to keep plants hydrated) are not regulated in this manner.
On June 23rd, the United Kingdom voted to withdraw from the European Union (commonly referred to as “Brexit”). Although it will take at least two years for the UK to formally leave the EU, many industry stakeholders are already wondering how Brexit will impact their companies.
Each year around this time there are several things we have come to count on – one is the annual list of alleged “toys to avoid” created by groups such as U.S. PIRG.