Hearing addresses toy recalls, safety

Assemblymember Audrey Pheffer announced the results of a public hearing that addressed issues on toy safety - just in time for holiday shopping.
Pheffer, who chairs the Assembly Consumer Affairs and Protection Committee, and Assemblymember Ginny Field, Chair of the Subcommittee on Child Product Safety, co-sponsored a public hearing on Thursday, November 1 that examined, among other issues, the adequacy of the consumer product recall system and methods by which the state can better work to protect small children from potentially dangerous toys.
The hearing came in the wake of several major toy recalls over the last few months, most of which included toys coated with paints containing high levels of lead, or, in some cases, magnets that can be swallowed or aspirated by a child.
Dr. Andrew Racine, Vice President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, testified on the health effects of lead exposure and the danger magnetic toys pose to children.
In all, over 10 million toys have been recalled as part of the recent mass toy recall.
Pheffer said the hearing was successful, and “brought together government representatives, toy safety advocates, industry representatives, and medical professionals to discuss this important consumer issue.”
“These participants,” Pheffer continued, “provided the committees with the necessary background information to allow us to analyze the toy safety legislation that has been proposed and consider the need for any additional legislation.”
“The Public Hearing on Toy Safety was an opportunity to hear from many experts and professionals in the field,” added Fields. “That provided excellent enlightenment to the elected officials.”
The hearing also allowed lawmakers to discuss several bills relating to toy safety, including legislation seeking to regulate the manufacture and sale of certain toys.
Also on hand at the hearing was Mindy Bockstein, Chairperson and Executive Director of the State Consumer Protection Board, who testified on the Board’s response to the recent increase in the recall of toys.
Nancy Cowles, Executive Director of Kids in Danger, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting kids by improving children’s product safety, spoke about a number of flaws her organization detected in the current consumer product recall system.
In her November 20 statement, Pheffer said the committee plans to “continue the dialogue with government, consumer and industry participants.”

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