Disposing of Defective Toys

Monday, August 13, 2007

Although the Consumer Product Safety Commission recently announced the recall of almost 1 million Fisher-Price toys on top of the millions of toy trains and jewelry recalled this year ["Lead Paint Leads to Fisher-Price Toy Recall," Business, Aug. 2], these lead-containing toys may yet poison other children.

The problem: The commission does not actually require the disposal of these products. Because most of the recalls are done under voluntary agreements, the companies are sometimes not even required to take back toys that have been sold or dispose of their remaining stock. In some cases the agency has instructed consumers to throw away the lead-containing products instead of requiring the offending companies to take them back. In all cases they allow the returned products to be exported to countries with weaker consumer laws.

The only safe solution is to require toy companies to dispose of the offending products as hazardous waste and to ban these materials from being sent overseas.


Executive Director

Occupational Knowledge International

San Francisco

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