Building Block Company Click-A-Brick Praises TIA’s Call For Federal Regulations

20 June, 2015

Co-founders of building block toy company Click-A-Brick, Jason Smith and Georg de Gorostiza, say they agree with efforts by the Toy Industry Association (TIA) to encourage the federal government in the United States to establish nationwide regulations for chemical use in consumer products.

The TIA is calling for federal legislation to make chemical regulations consistent throughout the country in the wake of several states and counties banning children’s products that contain certain chemicals. Several counties throughout New York last year and this year have enacted bans on some children’s products due to the use of certain chemicals, for example.

Some of these bans are being based on erroneous information, the TIA claims. The organization refuted claims in a report entitled Toxic Toys in Monroe County by Clean and Healthy New York and the New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund. Many toys pinpointed in the report as being unsafe were actually found to be well within the federal government’s guidelines for toy safety.

Rather than have individual counties enact their own bans and make their own chemical regulations that may be based on erroneous information and which would create a patchwork of varying regulations that would confuse companies and consumers alike, the TIA would rather see The Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 reformed and modernized. This act is the current overarching federal law that addresses chemical safety, testing, and regulations on chemicals used in products sold in the United States, including toys like the building blocks Click-A-Brick sells.

“One of the biggest threats to Toy Industry Association members is the barrage of state and local attempts to ban the use of certain chemicals in children’s products. This has become an even greater issue in recent weeks, with a growing number of New York State counties attempting to pass chemical ban legislation,” said Ed Desmond, executive vice president of external affairs, TIA. “In many cases, bill proponents cite the failure of the federal government to act as the reason for these local laws.”

Click-A-Brick’s Smith and de Gorostiza say they are both in favor of having one overarching regulation for chemical use in products rather than having individual counties enacting their own bans, particularly if the information they’re using is in question.

“We believe it’s important to keep things consistent in the industry in regard to safety regulations,” Smith said. “With reports coming out that use questionable information, you never know when a toy might run afoul of one of these reports and end up being banned even though it actually does comply with federal safety regulations. That could lead to a toy being perfectly legal in one county and illegal just an hour’s drive away for no real reason. As a toy company, we’re concerned about these kinds of false reports and this hodgepodge of regulations that is being created. We’d much rather see the federal government step in and update its legislation to cover the entire country and do away with these county-level bans and we support the Toy Industry Association’s efforts to lobby the federal government to update its act that deals with chemical regulation in consumer products.”

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