Bombay HC for phthalates standards in toys
The Bombay High Court has asked the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to frame guidelines on the amount of phthalates permissible in toys. In its order on March 24, the court also directed the commerce ministry to issue a notification mandating phthalates standards in toys, once BIS sets the rules.
The high court's order was based on a PIL filed by Consumer Welfare Association in 2007 demanding stringent regulations. Phthalates are organic chemicals commonly used as plasticisers to make plastic soft. They are highly toxic but cheaply available. They can damage male reproductive system, impair lungs and result in premature babies.
Centre for Science and Environment, a Delhi-based non-profit, had conducted a study on the presence of phthalates in toys in 2010 and found that over 45 per cent of the toys exceeded the international acceptable safety limits.