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New safety standard limits lead and heavy metals in toys.



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NEW SAFETY STANDARD LIMITS LEAD AND HEAVY METALS IN TOYS

The Consumer Affairs Minister Chris Bowen MP has today declared a new safety standard that limits lead and heavy metals in children's toys.

The new safety standard takes effect from 1 January 2010, and will replace the current Trade Practices Act ban on lead in toys that was implemented in 2007 when large numbers of toys were recalled due to excessive lead content.

"It is well established that lead and heavy metals are toxic and can adversely affect the health children, particularly in their developmental years," Mr Bowen said.

"Safety hazards such as these are not obvious to consumers, and it has proved necessary to have a monitoring mechanism in place.

"The community expects that toys sold in Australia will provide a reasonable level of safety, and the new standard will allow the ACCC to conduct market surveys and order the removal of any products found to have hazardous accessible lead or other heavy metals."

The new standard makes law Australian Standard AS/NZS ISO 8124.3 which limits accessible lead, mercury, selenium, antimony, arsenic, barium, cadmium and chromium in children's toys.

The standard also adopts parts of Australian Standard AS 8124.7 which set more stringent limits for these elements in finger paints, to address the likelihood that children may ingest quantities of finger paint.

These Australian Standards are equivalent to corresponding International or European toy standards.

The new standard will enable monitoring of lead and heavy metals children's toys in the domestic market and supplement Customs Import regulations which provide control of imported toys.

2/2/2009