Group Urges Malaysia To Regulate Toy Safety

Malaysian Association of Standards Users randomly tested 24 Chinese-made toys sold in Malaysia and found at least 16 contained excessive lead levels.

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Chinese-made children's toys sold in Malaysia were found to have a high level of lead, a consumer group said Wednesday, and urged the government to regulate their safety standards.
The Malaysian Association of Standards Users said it recently used a U.S.-made lead detection kit to test a sample of 24 toys purchased at random from supermarket retailers, amid concerns over the millions of recalls of Chinese-made toys.
At least 16 of the toys were found to have lead content of between 700 and 1200 parts per million, exceeding the 600 limit set by the American and Canadian governments, said the group's director, Ratna Devi Nadarajan.
The sample of 24 toys, mostly made in China, range from baby rattles and die-cast race cars to plastic beauty sets sold by grocery giants including Britain's Tesco PLC and France's Carrefour SA, she said.
''We don't want to say that all products made in China are bad, but we are very concerned with the safety of toys sold in Malaysia,'' Ratna said at a news conference.
''We urge the government to run a nationwide test to detect and determine the level of leads in all toys and children products and take immediate action to regulate toy safety,'' she said.
''Without the regulations, how can the vulnerable groups be protected?''
Malaysia has developed its own series of standards on toy safety. But Ratna said the standards are not mandatory as the government has not approved a Toy Safety Regulation drafted several years ago.
She said the law was believed held up due to administrative issues.
Officials from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry couldn't be immediately reached for comments.
The largest U.S. toymaker, Mattel Inc., announced in August a global recall of 18.6 million toys tainted with lead paint and small, powerful magnets that could cause intestinal perforations if swallowed.
Last week, it announced another round of recalls: 55,500 ''Go Diego Go! Animal Rescue Boats'' made in China and exported worldwide, including America, Canada and Britain. Surface paint on the boats contains excessive levels of lead.
Ratna said Malaysian regulations must include requirements of product recall and injury reporting, or collection of data on injuries due to toys and any child protection equipment such as car seat and prams.
The group also called for safety standards for products and services related to children such as play ground safety, clothing and feeding aid.