Toy Labeling Law in California

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Consumers in California can choose safe toys with the help of labels.
Consumers in California can choose safe toys with the help of labels.

Toys manufactured for sale or exchange in California must be labeled with origin and content. Potentially hazardous substances must be identified if present. For consumers, the labels provide helpful information in choosing toys for children.

  1. Lead

    • Paint or metal used for casting can present a lead hazard.
      Paint or metal used for casting can present a lead hazard.

      Lead exposure can lead to developmental and health problems in children, according to the Mayo Clinic. Products containing lead must be labeled as a lead hazard in California even if the amount of lead in the toy falls below the limits set by the U.S. government, which will drop to 100 parts per million in August 2011.


    • California requires products containing known or potential carcinogens as defined by section 108140 of the California Health and Safety Code to carry warning labels if intended for sale or exchange within the state. The manufacturer or distributor must disclose the presence of the substance whether the hazardous product is inside or outside the toy. Stuffing, paint and ornaments on the toy may pose hazards if they contain carcinogenic substances.

    Other Hazards

    • Potentially hazardous materials included with the toy must carry warning labels describing the danger. For example, plastic bags protecting the toy during shipping should warn of suffocation danger. Small clips holding a toy in a package present a choking hazard.


    • Section 108560 of California Health and Safety Code requires labeling of "... the name and place of business of the manufacturer, distributor, or importer in the United States." Any health officer can seize suspect toys until a determination of safety. Toys may be cleared for sale after being tagged properly or destroyed if found to be unsafe.

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  • Photo Credit plush toy image by Marek Kosmal from toy trucks image by timur1970 from


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