The Bombay High Court directed the Bureau of Indian Standards on March 24,2011 to set standards on phthalates in toys within two months. The court also directed the Ministry of Commerce, once the BIS sets standards, to issue a notification mandating the phthalates standards in toys.
The High Court's directions were based on the PIL filed by the Consumer Welfare Association in 2007, demanding stringent regulations for phthalates in toys. Phthalates are organic chemicals commonly used as plasticizers to make plastic supple. They are responsible for plastic products being cheap, easy to clean but very toxic. Phthalates can damage the male reproductive system, impair the lungs and affect the duration of pregnancy.
The Centre for Science and Environment had conducted a study on the presence of phthalates in toys in 2010 and found that over 45 per cent of the toys exceeded the international acceptable safe limits.