Mattel Won’t Use Chemical in Toys
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) _ Mattel Inc. will stop making plastic teething toys that contain phthalates, a chemical linked in some studies to liver and kidney damage and other health problems.
Mattel will begin shipping phthalate-free teething toys to distributors around the world beginning in the first quarter of 1999, the company said Wednesday.
``While there is a preponderance of scientific evidence to support the safety of phthalates (pronounced THAL’-ayts) in teething products, we are continuously seeking to identify and use product ingredients that reflect the latest in scientific research and development,″ said Rich Molyneux, Mattel’s senior vice president of quality and technology.
Information and the results of Mattel’s research on substitute materials will be made available to the global toy industry. In addition, the company invited environmental groups to partner with it in addressing this issue.
One group, however, said Mattel hasn’t done enough to protect children from the potentially harmful chemical. Philip Clapp, president of the Washington-based National Environmental Trust, said Mattel should remove phthalates from all of its toys for young children, not just teething toys.
``As every parent knows, children of that age put everything in their mouths, often for extended periods of time,″ he said.