July 19, 2017
In a move controlling the usage of toxic chemicals in toys, Nepal Government has come up with the Mandatory Toys Standard (MTS) law.
The new law, which followed the 181-day grace period, sets a limit on the quantity of chemicals to be used in toy-making.
Under the new standard, the Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE) has set new standards for toys, limiting the maximum value of a dozen elements and chemicals that are highly toxic to human health, especially the children.
The new law also broadened the existing definition of children’s toys, mechanism of certification in case of importing toys & domestic toys from government-accredited laboratories, and testing procedures.
Officials Laud New Law
Various ministries and other departments welcomed the government’s move saying the effective implementation of this law will ensure the safety of Nepali children.
The MoPE Secretary, Bishwanath Oli, noted that MoPE will play an active role towards implementing the law, in coordination with concerned government agencies and business communities.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has instructed all local bodies to stop the import, production, sale, storage, and distribution of toys with harmful chemicals and metals in quantities above the MTS-prescribed levels.
“Regular market monitoring as well as effective implementation from responsible agencies can help in assuring safety of our children,” said Ram Charitra Sah, executive director and environment scientist, the Center for Public Health and Environmental Development’s (CEPHED).
Exposure to toys with harmful chemicals results in physical, mental and intellectual growth of the children.
In its 2013 study, CEPHED found that 54 percent of 100 samples that it collected from different parts of Kathmandu Valley contained highly-toxic chemicals, such as lead, cadmium, chromium, bromine, and mercury in quantities above the permissible limits set by the international standards.