Frequently Asked Questions
- Where are your toys made?
- Can you tell me if your toys are "lead free"?
- How do you determine age grading?
- Where is my order shipping from?
- Can I get copies of the test reports on a product?
- Do you periodically check your stock for safety (lead)?
- Do you test all your toys?
- Do you inspect the factories you buy from?
- What are the allowable limits for lead and why are any allowable?
- Are your factories socially compliant?
- Do you test your toys for phthalates?
- Are any magnet toys safe?
- I've heard a lot about Bisphenol A. . What is it and why is it considered harmful?
- What takes place to ensure safety of your products on all levels before Hearthsong ships an item to a customer?
- Does your company only test to the Federal limits or do your requirements exceed those standards like some other companies are now doing?
- Why doesn't your website contain where the products are made?
- Do you have a way for me to tell if a toy is made in the USA?
- Are the test strip kits for lead testing reliable?
- Why do I get a product labeled Hearthsong when I order it from HearthSong? Who is Hearthsong?
- Do you list food allergen information on the products you carry?
Where are your toys made?
We source our toys from all over the world - the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Thailand, as well as China for example. With this said, we require the same testing, and adherence to Federal and State standards as well as our own stringent quality requirements regardless of the country of origin.
Can you tell me if your toys "lead free"?
It is a requirement for all our vendors to supply third-party test documents which ensure that all the products offered in our catalog are 100% non-toxic. This requires that they meet or exceed all Federal and State requirements for lead content. While the Federal guideline is 600ppm, many States have now set the limit at 90ppm. Independent consumer groups are asking for 40ppm to be set as the upper limit. Our test results report our products are far below the set limits, many as low as "less than 5ppm."
How do you determine age grading?
Several factors are considered when setting the age grade for a product.
- The CPSC "Guidelines for Relating Children's Ages to Toy Characteristics"
- Whether or not the item contains small parts in the "as received state"
- Size and weight of the of the item: small, lightweight to grasp and carry
- The theme: represents common objects easily identified by the child
- Degree of realism
- Type and level of skill required
- The manufacturers stated intent: such as a label if it is a reasonable one
- The article is generally recognized as being intended for children under 3 years
- Advertising, promotion, and marketing
- And our own evaluation of the product to children's physical and developmental stages
Where is my order shipping from?
We have several warehouses, with locations in Reno NV, Dayton OH, and Madison VA. Depending on the product it may come from any one of those locations.
Can I get copies of the test reports on a product?
We can provide copies of test reports for products from the third-party testing agencies as supplied by our vendors and laboratories under contract to us. We would hope you understand however, that certain proprietary information may be blacked out though all testing information is certified accurate and unaltered
Do you periodically check your stock for safety (lead)?
Random sampling is performed on products both in house and with our vendors to ensure the integrity of the product including all safety and quality standards
Do you test all your toys?
All our products; toys, kits, clothing, and furniture are tested to all applicable regulations, as well as being evaluated to our internal requirements and standards.
Do you inspect the factories you buy from?
Yes. Factory audits are performed by inspection agencies contracted for this specific purpose. In addition, Social Accountability audits are performed to the SA8000 (Social Accountability 8000 standard, recognized internationally) by these inspection agencies.
What are the allowable limits for lead and why are any allowable?
The Federal Government has set the limit for lead in surface coatings at 600ppm and soluble heavy metals at 90ppm. These have been identified as the upper limit at which previous testing has not shown any adverse affects to humans. However, many states set their allowable limits at 90ppm (all inclusive) and independent consumer groups have recommended the number as low 40ppm. All HearthSong products have tested far below those numbers; as low as "less than 5ppm"
Do you test your toys for phthalates?
Yes. In compliance with several State laws, our products are tested for Phthalates including DEHP, DIDP, DINP, DEHP, and Bisphenol A (BPA).
Are any magnet toys safe?
Magnetic toys have been the focus of many articles and reviews. With good reason. If a product is not tested properly or if testing on subsequent production runs are not performed, problems can develop with the toy. When a toy is designed properly, testing in accordance with safety standards and inspected by trained personnel, we can be assured that the product is safe and will provide many hours of enjoyment.
I've heard a lot about Bisphenol A. What is it and why is it considered harmful?
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a building block to several important polymers and polymer additives. It has become controversial because it mimics estrogen and thus could induce hormonal responses. Therefore, along with our requirements for screening of products for Phthalates, products are also screened for the presence of BPA above current limits recognized as safe in the United States.
What takes place to insure safety of your products on all levels before HearthSong ships an item to a customer?
It is our mandatory requirement that every product considered for our children's catalogs meet all safety regulations and quality standards. We achieve this by requiring third party testing on all products by an independent, accredited lab, and that documentation showing this compliance be provided to our Quality Assurance department before the product is approved for sale. Once we have placed an order with our vendors, pre-shipment inspections and often re-testing is scheduled prior to the product being shipped to us. Upon arrival at our warehouses, inspections are performed by trained Quality Assurance teams to ensure the product meets all our requirements. Periodically, product in our warehouses will be randomly pulled from our shelves and sent to testing labs here in the U.S. as a continuing assurance of its quality and integrity.
Does your company only test to the Federal limits or do your requirements exceed those standards like some other companies are now doing?
We require that all our products meet Federal and State regulations. In addition we have developed a set of standards for our products that in many cases either exceed those limits or address quality and safety criteria not yet address by other agencies. Many of which are particular to an individual product and identified in our inspection and approval process prior to selection.
Why doesn't your website contain where the products are made?
In the past this information was not included on our website, but was readily available by calling our Customer Service line, 1-800-533-4397. We now provide an entire section of our website to our Made in America products, the link for which can be found on the home page. In the future, we will be addressing adding this information to our web pages and catalogs, where appropriate.
Do you have a way for me to tell if a toy is made in the USA?
We provide a link on the home page to our Made in America collection, were you will find products made in the U.S. Additionally you can call our Customer Service Line, at 1-800-533-4397 and our representatives will be happy to assist you.
Are the test strip kits for lead testing reliable?
The test strips you can purchase in most hardware stores and online will tell you if a measurable amount of lead is present in the surface coating (paint, varnish, etc.) of a product. However, they may reflect the "amount" of lead present, even at 2 micrograms which is far below any Federal or State limits. They have also been known to report false "negatives" even when lead is present.
Why do I get a product labeled Hearthsong when I order it from Hearthsong? Who is Hearthsong?
HearthSong is a sister company to Magic Cabin. At times, a product from one catalog will be offered in its sister catalog. In addition, these products are warehoused in the same location. These products will share the same packaging and labeling based on the original design. Additionally, a product ordered from Magic Cabin, may have been originally offered in HearthSong and will carry the HearthSong label on its packaging.
Do you list food allergen information on the products you carry?
If an item requires an allergen warning we do our utmost to ensure it's listed on our website, as well as in the print catalog. The allergen warning is present below each item.
For additional information or to submit specific questions, contact quality@HearthSong.com