The Japanese companies take a serious approach with regards to toy safety standards. This is seen from the fact that the Japan Toy Association (JTA) announced a seventh revision for safety compliance standards from 1 January 2009, just only nine months after the last publication.
In particular, the change relates to the standard for colouring matters produced by chemical synthesis and their used on toys to be from substances as listed in Schedule 1 of the Food Sanitation Law Enforcement Regulations of Japan or colour migration should not be observed after testing. This requirement applices to toys intended for children of 14 years old (up from 6 years old) and an exception is allowed for textile on toys intended for children over 3 years of age (instead of 3 to 6 years old) where migration of colour should not be deeper than the colour of the solution which is three time as dense in concentration as the comparison standard.
Typical toy examples that fall in this category and subject to the legislative requirements include, but not limited to, transformer toys, mechanical animal robots, board games with small accessories, trading cards with printed cartoon characters and food imitation toys.
The new Japan Toy Safety Standard now covers a wider range of toy categories on toy safety up to 14 years of age. This coupled with additional requirements including 8 toxic elements testing for paint coatings and prohibition of both DEHP & DINP in PVC items for children under three have made the standard more stringent than the Food Sanitation Law
# Toys complying with the new Japan Toy Safety Standards are deemed to also comply with the Food Sanitation Law.
Ever wondered what some of these labels meant? Well there often a number of symbols printed on packaging materials and the relevant ones for Tomica are explained below:
Environmental Protection / Recycling
Plastic containers and packages
[Shown on plastic containers and packages]
Paper containers and packages
[Shown on paper containers and packages]
Quality Assurance / Product Safety
[Shown on toy products that meet safety standards designated voluntarily by the Japan Toy Association. ST = Safety Toy]
(Article: Tokyo ICC)