Three cheers for the state of Washington! The state Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill on Friday that imposes the strictest guidelines in the country on levels of lead, cadmium and phthalates in toys made and sold in the state. While the powerful Toy Industry Association paid thousands of dollars to lobbyists to squelch the bill, the measure passed by a 40-9 vote. Finally this means that parents in Washington won’t have to wonder whether the toy they just bought their child is toxic.
Opponents worry that major toy manufacturers will stop doing business in Washington and effectively "Christmas will be canceled." I’m sure parents would do what they ended up doing this year – shopping at local, independent toy stores that carry higher end toys or purchasing toy alternatives. But I would hope that this motivates the toy manufacturers to take a closer look at their line of products and realize that they need to make serious changes. I would also hope that every other state follows suit and that by next Christmas we can all feel confident when buying a toy that it will be safe as well as fun for our children.