PNS Daily Newscast - October 18, 2019 

Baltimore mourns Rep. Elijah Cummings, who 'Fought for All.' Also on our rundown: Rick Perry headed for door as Energy Secretary; and EPA holds its only hearing on rolling back methane regulations.

2020Talks - October 18, 2019 

While controversy swirls at the White House, Chicago teachers go on strike and Democratic primary contender retired Admiral Joe Sestak walks 105 miles across New Hampshire.

Daily Newscasts

New Tool Helps NM Shoppers Avoid Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

December 3, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Choking hazards, high levels of lead and recently banned chemicals that can affect children's development are just a few of the things that can be found in toys still on store shelves this holiday shopping season. But a new tool can help parents identify and avoid those products while they shop.

Katie Lobasco, program associate with New Mexico Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), says they tested a number of toys for hidden dangers like lead paint and recently-banned phthalates, found in many plastics. Their results are available in a new report online that parents can access from iPhones and Blackberries.

"When parents and shoppers go to our mobile site,, they'll find a list of toys we found that are potentially dangerous."

That list includes things like an "Elmo" lunch box with illegal amounts of phthalates, and a preschool book with paint containing lead levels more than 10 times the legal limit. Lobasco cautions that PIRG's list is not all-inclusive, but also points out that the web site also offers guidelines to help shoppers know what to look for, as well as a tool to report suspicious products.

Lobasco says the web site also offers simple tips, such as how to make sure that toys don't present a choking hazard.

"At home, parents can just use a toilet paper roll. If the toy fits inside the hole, the toy shouldn't be for children under 3 years old - it's too small."

Eric Mack/Gina Presson , Public News Service - NM