NPR logo

New Law Bans Chemical Found In Toys

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/100616145/100616119" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
New Law Bans Chemical Found In Toys

New Law Bans Chemical Found In Toys

New Law Bans Chemical Found In Toys

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/100616145/100616119" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

A federal law went into effect this week banning certain chemicals from children's toys and other products. Chemicals called phthalates make plastic toys soft. A child chewing on a toy made with phthalates could ingest the chemical, which could create health risks, studies indicate.

RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.

Starting this week, a federal law bans certain chemicals called phthalates from children's toys and other kids' products. A similar law went into effect here in California on the first of January. In Your Health today, reporter Sarah Varney looks at which chemicals are being used as substitutes. We begin with NPR's Jon Hamilton on the ban.

JON HAMILTON: Phthalates make plastic toys soft, but if kids chew on those toys, the chemicals can get into their bodies. Some early studies have linked phthalates to subtle changes in the reproductive organs of infant boys. The Consumer Product Safety Commission wasn't convinced by those studies, but many lawmakers wanted to take phthalates off the market, anyway.

Here's Representative Jan Schakowsky, a Democrat from Illinois, at a subcommittee hearing last year.

JAN SCHAKOWSKY: I'm concerned that by not acting quickly, we will make the same mistakes we made in the past with lead, asbestos, pesticides, tobacco, and expose our children to substances which will permanently damage their development.

HAMILTON: Congress passed legislation banning phthalates just a few weeks after that hearing.

Jon Hamilton, NPR News.

Copyright © 2009 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Related NPR Stories

We no longer support commenting on NPR.org stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.