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Toxic toys - International Toy Fair in Nuremberg

WECF presents international Coalition on Toy Safety at International Toys Fair

05.02.2010 |WECF Press Release

Munich, February 5, 2010 - Coinciding with the opening of the 61st International Nuremberg Toy Fair, WECF- Women in Europe for a Common Future - presents the founding of the international Toy Safety Coalition. The coalition aims to put the issue of hazardous toys on the international agenda and work closely together on better legislation for safe toys to ensure a healthy future for our children.
While the toy industry is celebrating the launch of new products on the 61st international Toy Fair in Nuremberg, millions of children worldwide are still exposed to toxic contaminants in toys. Despite repeated declarations that substances such as lead, health softeners (phthalates) or formaldehyde can still be found in toys, toy industry doesn’t seem to draw much attention to this fact.

"It’s distressing to know that here profit is made at the expense of children's health," says Alexandra Caterbow, WECF ´s toys expert and co-founder of the Safe Toys Coalition. "Many of these substances, which are shown to affect health, are simply not necessary."

To make sure that in future toys can no longer harm children, but will only give them joy, organizations from different countries have formed the Safe Toys Coalition, at the initiative of WECF. The aim of this coalition is, to advocate in dialogue with industry, politicians and consumers for safe toys worldwide. Toys are a global market and should be globally secure. Therefore, the Safe Toys Coalition has drafted a joint statement, which calls, amongst others, for a further revision of the European Toys Directive. According to the Coalition this will will encourage retailers to move towards safe and toxic-free products - and all our children will benefit.

Notes for the editor:
Press contact:
Johanna Hausmann, tel 089 2323938-19, mob: 0173 3570268,
Alexandra Caterbow, tel 089 2323938-18, mob: 0179 5244994
WECF will be available for questions and interviews on the Safe Toys Coalition at the Toys Fair on Monday, February 8th.
1. More Information on the Safe Toys Coalition
2. You can find the WECF Safe Toys Guide here
3. Why are children particularly vulnerable?
Children are much more sensitive to expo¬sure to toxic chemicals than adults because of their larger skin surface in proportion to their weight, their higher respiratory volume and increased metabolic rate. Consequently, they absorb more hazardous chemicals than an adult. Their immune  and nervous systems are still developing.
 Hazardous chemicals can also be found in cosmetics, furniture and other everyday products. So children are exposed to a varie¬ty of hazardous chemicals from many diffe¬rent sources. Even the smallest amounts of hazardous chemicals are sufficient to harm the development of a child – sometimes with lifelong consequences. The increasing allergy and cancer rates demonstrate this.

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