19 September 2007

Pearce Declares National Ban On Lead In Toys

Chris Pearce MP, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, today announced a national ban on children’s toys that contain unacceptable levels of lead.

The ban, which takes effect immediately, makes it an offence under the Trade Practices Act to supply toys which have lead migration levels above the limit specified in the current Australian Standard, which is 90 parts per million.*  More information on the ban is available in the Attorney-General's Department Special Gazette No. S181 at www.ag.gov.au.

“The safety of children is our first priority. This ban will help ensure that toys with unacceptable lead content are not available for sale,” Mr Pearce said.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is currently conducting a formal regulation impact assessment of the options to control lead and other potentially toxic elements in toys. This process involves wider community and stakeholder consultation.  A draft regulation impact statement is expected to be released for public comment within the next few weeks.

“The ban being announced today is an important measure to help protect Australian children from toys containing inappropriate lead levels while the broader regulation impact assessment process is completed,” Mr Pearce said.

“In the lead-up to Christmas it is important that unsafe toys are removed from sale. The ban will be enforced by the ACCC.  Enforcement strategies will include toy purchasing and chemical analysis.”

“Toy suppliers should ensure that their quality control and toy testing systems are robust to prevent any potential breaches of the ban in respect of lead content in toys,” said Mr Pearce.

*Lead migration refers to the ability of lead to enter the human body from a particular source, for example, from paint on a toy.

19 September 2007

Contact: Conor O'Brien (02) 6277 2088 or 0402 970 515