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Report Warns of Toys With Health Risks

Consumer Group Says Dangerous Toys Can Still Be Found on Store Shelves

U.S. PIRG Recommendations

The U.S. PIRG issued a number of recommendations this year:

  • Congress should protect the budget of the CPSC and continue vigorous oversight of implementation and enforcement of the new law.
  • Manufacturers should be required to provide all hazard and health information to state and federal agencies so that they can better assess the safety or danger of chemicals.
  • The federal government should make sure dangerous chemicals are phased out of toys and other items intended for children.
  • Products should be labeled with names of chemicals to give parents a chance to choose toys that are less toxic.

The report identifies the following toys as potential dangers:

  • A stuffed animal monkey made by Play Pets that contained lead slightly above recommended levels.
  • The surface coating of toy plastic handcuffs sold at Toys “R” Us, which had excess antimony, many times higher than allowable.
  • The red handle of a baby book sold at Toys “R” Us containing antimony that was above the allowable limit.
  • The coating on the surface of a wild range toy gun sold at Family Dollar, which had more antimony than allowed.

U.S. PIRG says that because there is no comprehensive list of potentially hazardous toys, parents should carefully examine items before buying them.

The report also lists the following as posing dangers for kids:

  • Small parts on toys that can detach and pose choking risks.
  • Small balls, which are easy to swallow. Balls with a diameter of less than 1.75 inches are banned for kids under age 3.
  • Balloons, which cause more choking deaths than any other kids’ product.
  • Marbles. Toys with marbles must containing warning labels.
  • Drawstrings on clothing can lead to deaths or injuries because they sometimes catch on cribs, doors, or playground equipment.

Products That Can Pose Hazards

The U.S. PIRG report lists the following products as containing potentially toxic amounts of lead or other hazardous chemicals:

  • Princess Expressions Tiara and Jewelry set, made by Almar Sales and sold by Kmart.
  • Monkey in Banana, made by Play Pets and sold at Uncle Fun stores.
  • Baby Doll, also sold by Uncle Fun. U.S. PIRG says the manufacturer of the doll was unknown.
  • Dora the Explorer backpack, made by Global design Concepts and sold by Claire’s retailers.
  • Bright stars travel book, sold at Toys “R” Us.
  • Plastic handcuffs, sold at Toys “R” Us.
  • Wild ranger toy gun, made by Polyfect Inc. and sold at Family Dollar stores.

The report lists two examples of toys that pose potential choking hazards:

  • Lokmock/Baby’s first train, made by Haba, sold by Sullivan’s Toys Let’s Get Building!
  • Construction Playset (Handy Manny Big Construction Job), made by Fisher-Price and sold at Target.
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