NEW YORK — Toy manufacturers are preparing a campaign to let the public know that phthalates used to make PVC toys soft are safe. Meantime, the toy industry's trade group is working with Environmental Defense on a way to let parents know what chemicals are used in children's toys.
Concerns about the potential risk of diisononyl phthalate to children under age 3 were among the subjects presented at a Feb. 14 toy safety seminar at the International Toy Fair in New York.
"By the end of 2001, we hope the issue will be resolved," said David Miller, president of Toy Manufacturers of America Inc., a New York-based trade group.
"The toy industry is looking forward to having the good name of phthalate restored and to be able to defend its use," Miller said. "We expect that [U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission] reports will show that the exposure to children of DINP is well under safety limits. Then we will be able to go back to our customers and say that we will mount a publicity campaign."
TMA also is involved in dialogue with Washington-based Environmental Defense, Miller said.
"They suggest that we list every chemical component on all the toys we make, with the reasoning that consumers have the right to know. The toy industry respects this, and we're trying to find a rational course of action," Miller said.
Following the seminar, Mark Sofman, director of industry affairs for the Vinyl Institute in Arlington, Va., said: "TMA wants to go with proven materials. Our position is that phthalate and vinyl have been used for many years, and they are very well-understood and have been extensively studied. There are no documented adverse consequences."