Lawmakers in nine states are working on legislation that would ban toys and child-care products that contain phthalates, toxic chemicals used as plastic softeners. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) is talking about pushing a similar bill on a national level. They’re all following the lead of legislators in California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed a phthalate toy ban on Sunday. Phthalates, which are banned in the European Union, have been linked to cancer, reproductive defects, and hormone problems — not what most parents would want their wee ones teething on.