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Survey: Dangerous Toys Still Found on Store Shelves

PHOTO: Hazardous toys continue to be found on store shelves, according to a new report from the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. CREDIT: Microsoft Images.
PHOTO: Hazardous toys continue to be found on store shelves, according to a new report from the Arizona PIRG Education Fund. CREDIT: Microsoft Images.
November 26, 2013

PHOENIX - It still pays to be cautious when shopping for toys. A report released today by the Arizona PIRG Education Fund describes several toys on the market that pose hazards ranging from toxins to choking.

Spokeswoman Shaina Shay of PIRG warned that they are still finding toys with excessive levels of lead, citing "The Marvel Superhero Squad Soft Shield that contains 2,900 parts per million of lead, which violates the standard by 29 times. Also the Ninja Turtles pencil case," she added.

Other hazards identified in the 28th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report include several other toxins, tiny magnets that can be swallowed, toys that pose a threat of choking, and overly-loud toys. The report is available online at ArizonaPIRG.org.

Shay cautioned that there is no comprehensive list of potentially-hazardous toys, so consumers must be vigilant. She said a shopper can check for choking hazards using a common household item.

"If a toy can fit, or a toy part can fit, into a toilet paper roll, then it's probably too small for a child under three," she said.

International standards say toys held within one inch of the ear should not produce noise exceeding 65 decibels, but Shay said one toy they found goes well beyond that limit.

"The Leapfrog Count and Chat Smartphone, which is clearly intended to be held up to the ear, exceeds not only the 65-decibel range but prolonged periods of 90 decibels," she pointed out.

Shay noted that toy safety has improved in recent years, thanks to a combination of increased federal regulation and better-informed consumers.

"Between the years of 2001 and 2011, 80 children have choked to death on balloons, balls, toys or parts of toys, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission has continued to recall more toys from shelves because of choking hazards and toxins," she said.

More information is available at ToySafetyTips.org.



Doug Ramsey, Public News Service - AZ