Give toy safety more clout

Source: Doug Gansler and David Kosmos [Baltimore Sun] (Free Registration)

Note: Doug Gansler is Maryland's attorney general. David Kosmos is program associate for Maryland PIRG. Today is "Black Friday" - the traditional start of the holiday shopping season. As parents and other caregivers get ready for the gift-giving holidays, many may be asking: How can we be sure that the toys we buy for our children are not tainted with lead? How can we be sure they don't pose any other hazards? It's a tough question to answer. Most Americans would be surprised to learn that the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission does not test consumer products before they are offered for sale. It's left up to manufacturers, importers and retailers to guarantee that the products they sell -- from chain saws to toasters to Barbie dolls and Thomas the Tank Engine trains -- meet all mandatory and voluntary safety standards.

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