Singapore test found fewer unsafe toys
Fewer toys were found to be unsafe in this recent test on a sample of 200 toys. However, regulatory authorities such as SPRING Singapore and CASE plans to step up efforts to further improve the safety standards of toys here.
Channelnewsasia reported that at least 20% of 200 toy samples tested by SPRING Singapore were found to be unsafe for children. These toys were examined for physical and mechanical safety, as well as to inspect for chemical contents that might be beyond the safe limits.
Unsafe toys could either contain excessive levels of lead and phthalate – a substance that helps make plastic flexible – or failed the physical and mechanical test, or both. Excessive levels of lead and phthalate have been identified to be harmful to children’s digestive and reproductive systems, among other things.
As such SPRING issued a 47 stop-sale notices to retailers whose toys were found to be unsafe. The results of the test was also discovered to be an improvement from the last testin April by the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), which found nearly 46 per cent of toys unsafe. It said the Consumer Goods Safety Requirements put in place in April made suppliers more serious about following international standards.
In order to further improve toy safety in Singapore, SPRING is setting up a joint working group to make toys sold here safer. The group includes representatives from CASE, Singapore Toys & Confectionery Dealers’ Association, Federation of Merchants’ Associations Singapore and Singapore Retailers Association.
Mr Tan Kai Hoe, SPRING’s deputy chief executive, said: “Because the supply chain is so complex, we need to have certain policies or procedures to educate our suppliers about how they should be communicating and how they should be procuring their supplies.”
Dato’ Dr Jannie Chan Siew Lee, president of the Singapore Retailers Association, said: “Now that we are conscious of the standards that have been set up by SPRING, when we order our goods, we have to make sure that we are buying from importers and manufacturers that have passed the standards.”
Mr Yeo Guat Kwang, president of CASE, said: “But it’s still important for consumers to play a part to be aware that under these regulations they will have to look out for toys that have been certified, either by European, American or the ISO standards.”
Those who do not stop the sale of unsafe toys – toys found to have failed international safety standards by SPRING – can be fined up to S$10,000 or jailed for up to two years, or both.
With stepped up efforts in regulating the safety standards of toys here, parents can be rest assured that their children are safe from harm. Share with us your thoughts. Have you come across any unsafe toys?
Photo credit: Desmond Foo