Sat, Nov 03, 2007 - Page 12 News List

Malaysia to test toys for lead paint after complaints

AFP , KUALA LUMPUR

Malaysia is to undertake product tests after a consumer group claimed some toys -- mostly Chinese-made -- contained high levels of lead paint, a junior minister said yesterday.

S. Veerasingam, deputy minister of domestic trade and consumer affairs, told reporters that the government would ensure that toys sold in Malaysia were safe, and remove any that were not.

"We will conduct tests on toys sold in the country. If they are found with high levels of lead, then we will launch a crackdown," he said.

Veerasingam said it was not clear "how widespread was the sale of toys tainted with lead."

Ratna Devi Nadarajan, director of the Malaysian Association of Standard Users, on Wednesday said that 24 types of toys, mostly made in China, contained high levels of lead.

"We tested 24 types of toys and found them all to contain high levels of lead and we need to carry out more tests to determine the exact amount toys here contain lead. The problem is that nobody is at present testing toys to determine if they are safe or not and that is very worrying," she said.

China is the world's top toy exporter, having sold 22 billion toys overseas last year, or 60 percent of the global total.

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