TOXIC TOYS

While I was researching assignment 3 I was looking in the Dundee disney store to see if toys from popular companies were also made in China. As I expected they were and what surprised me with the harder toys was the quality of painting and the toys didn’t look stable or worth the 20 or so pounds that were being asked for them.

While I was thinking about the toys I remember a story about toxic lead paint being painted on Children’s toys by accident. Not only were they shipped out but they were put on Shelves and sold to People who planned to give them to their children.The Pizza play set  was found to contain over 90 milligrams per gram in total of lead. Lead is toxic to children even at low exposure but Luckily the health board did tests on the toy and it was recalled. Although people had already given this toy to their children and risked their children’s well-being due to a mistake which should have never of happened.

More and more of these stories started appearing as I looked more in to this subject. Some of the stories I made me think I had read the title wrong as they were just utterly ridiculous! I read the heading ‘ China confirms toxic ‘ date rape’ substance on toys. Apparently China had to recall toy beads from Britain due to them containing the date rape drug rohypnol. Beads started sickening children and some even became unconscious after swallowing the beads. Other effects were breathing problems, seizures and drowsiness. Some of the worst effects on children could have been coma or death, luckily none of children suffered from these.  Lead paint seems to be quite a popular paint for Kids toys that are made in China as  Fisher-Price Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and 83 other types of fun toys were recalled in 2007 due to high amount of lead.

British standards and quality control for products especially food or children’s toys are very high so why is it acceptable to accept imports from countries which cannot adhere to our regulations. Is cheaper toys worth risking a child’s life for? After all a child can’t play with an elmo toy after it’s died from lead poisoning!

It seems their is a steady flow of stories and reports on Chinas quality scandals. This ultimately has tarnished Chinas image as a reliable exporter of goods. But since it is the cheapest way to import goods to other countries they are still allowed to export things which they have again and again mucked up. The Chines government has tried to increase inspections, selectively punishing companies and launching public campaigns to boost quality. Can they really be trusted to make sure mistakes don’t happen or are these measures just to make the outside investors more comfortable?

Their are so many factories that churn out thousands of products every day so no wonder the quality control gets left behind. You are always going to sacrifice important things when you rush a job. Heated competition among factories and rising cost of labour, land and fuel sometimes put pressure on profits, causing producers to cut corners!

China is not just exporting dangerous toys they are also the biggest source of potentially dangerous  appliances and other merchandise according to the European union. Over 1,600 products were pulled from shelves in one year. More and more products are being detected as dangerous but are being destroyed before they can reach the european market. Goods are being checked more often and stricter rules are coming in to keep us safe from China’s mistakes. But the main problem is people need to buy cheap products and China supplies the cheapest so we will always have dangerous products entering our country. Unless all guide lines and rules are compulsory and checked constantly which is not going to happen while demand is so high.

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