With less than a month left until Christmas, shoppers may be busy checking off their lists, but for those who have children to buy for, there is a warning about what not to buy this holiday season.
An Illinois consumer group has put out its report about what toys parents should avoid and why. This year, though, could be the last year parents will hear the same old thing. That's because a new law is about to go into effect to better protect children.
The new law passed this summer, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, will create new standards for toys, improve inspections and warning labels, and will ban toxic chemicals from toys. The law goes into effect next February.
"This bill has really put the CPSC on alert that Congress is serious about toy safety," said Rep. Bobby Rush at a news conference.
Every year, the Illinois Public Interest Research Group unveils its report about what toys parents should avoid. This year, there are three big warnings: toys with choking hazards, lead pain and toxic phthalates, which is a chemical that helps make toys softer, and is found in all kinds of products.
"They are on our shelves right now," said Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan. "They are in our homes right now, and you need to be aware of it."
What's more concerning to those behind the bill, Parker reported, was that the Consumer Product Safety Commission is not listening.
"Last week, the CPSC issued a legal opinion telling manufactures they can keep selling the remaining millions of toys until they run out, which could take years," said Brian Imus, director of Illinois PIRG.
It is a move that lawmakers intend to fight.
"Next year the nation will be better off, because Congress will be doing its work, its job, for our nation's children," Rush said.