HC Deb 29 April 1998 vol 311 c149W
Mr. Baker

To ask the President of the Board of Trade (1) if the Government will support proposals from other EU member states for emergency measures to restrict the marketing of soft PVC toys; [39974]

(2) if the Government will require retailers and manufacturers to withdraw soft PVC toys for infants; [39975]

(3) if the Government support the Dutch Government's proposals to use human volunteers to test the hazards of soft PVC toys; and if she will take steps to ensure that this testing does not delay emergency restrictions in the EU on the marketing of soft PVC toys. [39976]

Mr. Nigel Griffiths

None of the evidence available suggests that soft PVC toys currently on the market in this country would, in foreseeable conditions of use, lead to the release of dangerous levels of phthalates. Under the Toys (Safety) Regulations 1995 suppliers have a statutory duty to supply safe toys and action can be taken against a supplier of toys found to release unacceptable levels of phthalates.

Following my instructions last year, UK safety experts have been leading the research into the release of phthalates. They are working with experts from other member States including those carrying out the Dutch study. I am most concerned to ensure that articles intended for use by children are safe and, if the research being carried out shows that there is cause for concern, the Government will not hesitate to act.