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A Toxics-Free Future

New Law Comes into Force to Check Toxic Toys

Following the 181-day grace period, the government has enforced the Mandatory Toys Standard (MTS) law aimed at controlling children’s exposure to harmful chemicals and heavy metals present in toys.
With the enactment, toys available in the market have to contain the amount of chemicals as per set by the standard.

The government had enacted the law by publishing it in the gazette on January 16, 2017.
Under the new mandatory standard, the Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE) has fixed the standards of children’s toys, limiting the maximum value of a dozen elements and chemicals which are highly toxic to human health, especially the children.
The continued exposure to toys containing these toxic chemicals affects physical, mental and intellectual growth of children.
A study, conducted by the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development (CEPHED) in 2013, on 100 samples collected from different parts of Kathmandu Valley showed 54 percent of the items contained far higher levels of toxic heavy metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and bromine than permissible limits as per international standards.
Welcoming the government move to enact the new standard, Secretary at the MoPE Bishwanath Oli said, “The ministry will play an active coordinating role with all the concerned government agencies and business communities for its effective implementation.”
The Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has also directed all respective local bodies to prevent import, production, sale, storage, distribution and even use of toys that contain toxic chemicals and heavy metals exceeding the prescribed limits set by the MTS.
Terming MoFALD decision a progressive step, Ram Charitra Sah, executive director and environment scientist at CEPHED said effective implementation of this mandatory toys standard by all respective government agencies will ensure the right to play safe of Nepalese children.
“We need honest and responsible actions from concerned authorities for its implementation,” Sah said in a statement. “Regular market monitoring as well as effective implementation from responsible agencies can help in assuring safety of our children.”
The standard also includes a broad definition of children’s toys, testing procedure and mechanism of certification in case of importing toys as well as domestic toys from government accredited laboratories.