US consumer watchdog releases toxic toy list

Thursday, November 28th, 2013. Filed under: Christmas Health & Fitness Holidays Home & Garden New Year's Day
What not to buy: US-based Public Interest Research Group announced this year's list of unsafe toys. ©Poznyakov/

What not to buy: US-based Public Interest Research Group announced this year’s list of unsafe toys.

(Relaxnews) – Just in time for holiday shopping, the US-based consumer watchdog Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) announced this year’s list of unsafe toys sold in the country.

Released Tuesday, the annual “Trouble in Toyland” report reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for toxic chemicals including lead, cadmium, and phthalates, all of which can have serious adverse health impacts on the development of children. The survey also found small toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that threaten children’s hearing, and toy magnets that can cause serious injury if swallowed.

“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe,” said agency health advocate Jenny Levin. “However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys.”

One vinyl toy called the Marvel Super Hero Squad Soft Shield contained 29 times the legal limit of lead, WebMD cited. “That toy is recommended for ages two and up,” Andrew Fish, a program associate with the Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group, told the website. “It really shouldn’t be recommended for anyone at that level.”

Other cited toys included a Lamaze-brand infant play mat that contains high levels of a toxic metal called antimony, as well as a Ninja Turtles Pencil Case that contains high levels of phthalates and cadmium.

Parents are also warned about magnets, which the agency says are much stronger than in the past. A child could swallow more than one, and the magnets could stick together causing problems.

Loud toys can could damage a child’s hearing and are also red-flagged, with the group considering anything above 85 decibels as just too loud, and above 65 decibels for toys meant to be held close to the ear as dangerous. Toys that surpassed the limit include LeapFrog Chat & Count Smart Phone, the LeapFrog Lil’Phone Pal and the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Remote.

Access the full report:


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