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Toy Makers, Retailers Announce New Safety Policies

mattel2.jpgThe Toy Industry Association has endorsed the general direction of a proposal for a new toy testing and safety verification system for toys sold in the U.S. market. Key elements of the program include procedures for design hazard analysis, auditing manufacturing process controls, and product safety testing.

The program will be published by the American National Standards Institute on Friday for a one-month period of public review and comment. You’ll be able to find it here.

The endorsement comes on the heels of a number of toy safety announcements by retailers and manufacturers.

Toys “R” Us and Mattel plan to phase out nickel-cadmium batteries, a technology associated with environmental contamination and health problems in China, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Wal-Mart and Toys R Us announced new mandatory safety checks for its toy manufacturers, according to CNNMoney.

Wal-Mart has told its suppliers that they will have have to meet enhanced safety standards for new and “reordered toys” that will be sold in its stores this year. The Toys R Us guidelines include third-party testing of each batch of toys that’s imported into the U.S. and Toys R Us and Wal-Mart are also adopting strict standards for surface lead paint, according to the L.A. Times.

Toys R Us also says that its manufacturers have been notified that by the end of 2008, juvenile products sold in any Toys R Us or Babies R Us store in the U.S. must be produced without the addition of phthalates.

Brand perceptions of Wal-Mart suffered as a result of last year’s series of product recalls of toys produced in China. Mattel’s brand also paid a price for the recalls.

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