POSTED: Monday, December 19, 2011 - 12:18pm
UPDATED: Sunday, January 8, 2012 - 3:08pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — As kids put in their orders with the big guy, his elves are under strict new guidelines for making toys as safe as possible.
Inez Tenenbaum is chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
She says the federal limit on lead in toys is the lowest in the world.
Congress also set a cap on cadmium for kids' jewelry this year.
Ll children's products sold in the U.S. as of January 1st will have to go through independent third party testing.
"These are laboratories that test for lead, for cadmium, for other toxic substances, that do drop tests to make sure you don't have small parts that come loose so a child has a choking hazard," Tenenbaum says.
The goal is safer toys, and to avoid a repeat of 2007 when millions of products were recalled.
Although many contained unsafe levels of lead, the vast majority of recalls are generally due to a defective design.
Consumers can now report problems with products, and get company responses, through a new CPSC database called SaferProducts.gov.
"Anyone can go on the website and pull up information which gives information on what someone else's experience is," Tenenbaum says.
The toy industry association says it's long been supportive of third party testing.
Many major companies and retailers are already doing such independent tests.