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Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, Author Dr. Harvey Karp and Parents gather to urge Governor Schwarzenegger -- Don't veto toxic toys bill

Toys with lead have been recalled, but thousands of unsafe toys still being sold in California

For Immediate Release: September 10, 2007
Contact: Dan Cohn or Conor Lee, 510-271-0640

On September 10, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and best-selling author Dr. Harvey Karp will join parents and kids in Douglas Park in Santa Monica to speak out against the number of unsafe toys being sold in California and to urge Gov. Schwarzenegger to sign AB 1108.

Sign AB1108, Gov.In the last few weeks, millions of toys worldwide have been recalled by Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher-Price after alarming levels of lead were found in them. “But toys with harmful chemicals can still be found on store shelves throughout California and the rest of the country,” said Assemblywoman Ma.  Some of those toys will be displayed at the event, which is sponsored by Breast Cancer Fund, Environment California and Healthy Child Healthy World.

The California Senate just passed AB 1108, introduced by Fiona Ma, which will require all child care products and toys sold in California for children to be free of chemicals called phthalates. Scientists worldwide have linked phthalates (pronounced “THA-lates”) to lowered sperm counts, early onset of puberty, testicular cancer and liver problems. These chemicals are found in rubber duckies, teething rings, bath books and other soft plastic toys and can leech out of these toys when children suck or chew on them.

The European Union and other countries have already banned or phased out the use of phthalates in these products. But the U.S. chemical industry has successfully stopped this move at home, and Governor Schwarzenegger has threatened to veto the legislation.

“When a child puts a phthalate-laden teether in her mouth, it’s like sucking on a toxic lollypop,” said Rachel Gibson, staff attorney for Environment California.  
 
“Parents shouldn't have to guess which toys in their homes are toxic,” said Jeanne Rizzo, R.N., Executive Director of the Breast Cancer Fund. “Governor Schwarzenegger needs to sign this bill so we can keep toys with phthalates out of tots’ hands – and bodies.”

Speakers include Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, pediatrician and author Dr. Harvey Karp (The Happiest Baby on the Block) and mother and author Jennifer Taggart. They’ll be joined by nearly two dozen parents, some with children, activists from Breast Cancer Fund, Environment California, and Healthy Child, Healthy World.

For more information, go to www.breastcancerfund.org or www.environmentcalifornia.org.