WASHINGTON -- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) announced plans to introduce legislation that would ban six phthalate compounds in all children's products. The announcement, which was made in mid-December, garnered press coverage and sent shock waves through the toy manufacturing sector at the height of the Christmas shopping season.
The proposed legislation would add to the growing list of potentially harmful materials banned by Congress in 2008 as part of the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA). Gillibrand's proposal would extend bans on potentially toxic substances to include additional phthalate compounds while expanding present prohibitions on their use in toys to other items, such as backpacks and pencil cases.
Although some segments of the toy industry apparently viewed the proposed legislation with trepidation, the announcement caused far less anxiety in the bulk vending community. According to industry experts, the majority of bulk vending suppliers are well prepared for such legislation. Following the lead crisis of 2004 that saw a record number of bulk vending toys recalled, industry suppliers have put safeguards in place that include rigid testing procedures to assure compliance with safety standards. These procedures, which include testing by independent labs, can be expanded to meet shifting criteria.
"We've been testing for years to make sure our products meet or exceed safety standards and federal regulations," said A&A Global Industries' Brian Kovens.
A&A Global is not alone. Most major suppliers of bulk vending products have implemented testing procedures to ensure safety of bulk vendables.