Steelworkers Provide Home Testing for Toxic Toys: Union Urges Politicians to end 'Toxic Trade'



    VANCOUVER, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - Appearing in a Vancouver home with children
and concerned parents this morning, representatives of the United Steelworkers
(USW) conducted lead testing of the children's toys with kits that the union
provides to the public.
    In response to the recall of over two million unsafe toys the union is
calling on both the federal and provincial governments to take actions to
ensure Canadian kids are protected from lead and other toxic materials.
    USW Staff Representative Lee Edwards said parents are becoming
increasingly concerned about purchasing unsafe products for their children in
the unregulated environment of globalized trade.
    "We've seen over 2 million toys recently recalled with inadequate actions
taken by our governments to force producers and importers to test and make
sure products they sell for our children are safe," said Edwards. "That's why
we encourage parents to be proactive and test for lead in toys themselves."
    Despite a recent throne speech by the Stephen Harper Government, only a
website on toxic substances has been posted by federal authorities.
    Earlier this month the federal New Democratic Party and the USW called
for a new Toxic Import Protection Act to make imports safer and protect
manufacturing jobs at home.
    USW Western Canada Director Steve Hunt says that the hidden cost of
deregulated globalized trade means that compounds containing lead have
resurfaced as toxic ingredients in children's toys and items, as well as
antifreeze chemicals in toothpaste and pesticide ingredients in baby soothers.
    "Parents want to provide a safe home with safe products for their kids,"
says Hunt. "This is a value that we all share. Now our elected officials have
to act."
    In BC, the USW also supports the provincial New Democrats' proposed
"right to know" legislation which will ensure that manufacturers label
ingredients in toys and household consumer products.
    Also present during lead testing today were representatives of the Labour
and Environmental Alliance Society (LEAS). The LEAS has recently published the
CancerSmart 3.0 Guide that includes information on toxic toys and consumer
products.

    The USW is Canada's most diverse union, representing more than
280,000 men and women working in every sector of Canada's economy.
    For more information and to order your own lead testing kit(s), please
visit the Steelworkers' toxic trade website at www.stoptoxicimports.org.





For further information:

For further information: Lee Edwards: (604) 683-1117; Scott Lunny, (604)
329-5308


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