Government and Policy

China adheres to ISO standards on toy quality

Updated: 2011-06-01 17:04
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BEIJING - China has no double standard on toy quality security and is implementing international standards, according to the country's quality watchdog.

China has been improving toy products standards by following policy changes of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the United States and the European Union (EU), the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) said in a statement on its webstie on Tuesday.

The GAQSIQ made the remarks in response to worries about the potentially harmful chemical Di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), which is a plasticizer that has been linked to health hazards that include liver and kidney damage.

Toy manufacturing standards in China are compulsory and adhere to the ISO 8124 toy security standards in mechanical functions, combustion and migrant chemicals -- mainly soluble heavy metals, said Zhang Yanfen, head of the National Technical Committee of Standardization for Toys (NTCST).

Different countries, however, have different codes and standards and therefore, exports must apply to a target market's codes and standards, Zhang explained.

China has limits on eight migrant chemicals in toys, which is the same as ISO, US and EU standards, the statement said.

The EU revised its standards at the end of 2008, raising the number of monitored harmful chemicals from eight to 19, but the new standards don't take effect until 2013.

The United States proposed a new ceiling on lead content in materials in which children are highly exposed in a bill in 2008, but it was postponed from taking effect due to technological reasons.

Concerning DEHP, the United States and EU have their own limits. Although ceilings on DEHP are absent in global standards, China will soon apply the EU limit of DEHP in the nipples of baby bottles, the statement said.

Last week, Taiwan ordered a massive recall of beverage and food products suspected of being tainted with DEHP.