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Nevadans 'Better Watch Out' for Dangerous Toys

December 9, 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nev. - 'Tis the season for making kids' toy wishes come true, but legal experts say when Nevadans go shopping this weekend they should also be thinking about toy safety. A new report says 95 percent of the toys sold in the U.S. now come from abroad, and some of them would not receive a "thumbs-up" for safety from Santa.

Nevada Justice Association President Graham Galloway warns shoppers to be on the lookout for hidden dangers.

"A lot of these toys contain tiny magnets. If they come out of the toys and they are swallowed, they cause incredible problems with the intestinal tract."

According to the new American Association for Justice Report, toy-related injuries have increased 54 percent over the last decade.

Galloway, a Reno attorney, warns shoppers to also scrutinize foreign products like toy jewelry, which can contain lead, lead paint or other cancer-linked elements.

"The Chinese manufacturers, once they were taken to task on the lead issue, replaced lead with cadmium - and cadmium is number seven on the Top 10 list of cancer-causing materials."

Galloway points out that defective toys can be available on shelves for years. A Public Citizen analysis found that companies waited more than two years, on average, to inform the Consumer Product Safety Commission about defects, and then the agency took more than 200 days to inform the public, he says.

"The federal government is so overwhelmed and understaffed, it's the lawyer organizations that are helping out by forcing these manufacturers to deal with it."

The full report, "Playing with Safety: Dangerous Toys and the Role of America's Civil Justice System," is available at www.justice.org.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NV