Toys – both locally manufactured and imported – will be a lot safer in a few months.
The Bombay high court, on Thursday, directed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) to incorporate phthalates in the list of prohibited substances by June 30. Phthalates are chemicals used to soften plastic and are said to have a harmful effect on humans.
The court also directed the central government to come out with a necessary notification, within two months, making the BIS standards mandatory for toys manufactured locally as well as for imported toys.
Last year, the central government had decided to make the BIS standards (IS-9873), that regulate toxic content, and use of heavy metals in colouring toys mandatory following a public interest litigation filed by city-based social organisation, Consumer Welfare Association.
But, phthalates were not included in the list of chemicals prohibited under the BIS standards, which delayed the central decision.
Recently, BIS removed the lacunae by incorporating phthalates in the list, but an appropriate notification had not been issued.
On Thursday, BIS counsel, Sumit Moholkar, sought a further two months’ time to complete legal formalities for incorporating phthalates in the list of prohibited items. The division bench comprising chief justice Mohit Shah and justice DG Karnik, however, directed BIS to complete the formality
by June 30.
Central government pleader Mandar Goswami sought time stating that the ministry of commerce and industry would be required to issue a notification to make the BIS standards mandatory. Accordingly, the court directed the central government to do the needful by August end.