Updated 12/03/2008 04:46 PM
Toy Safety Report Released For Holiday Season
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A tougher ban on lead paint in toys is set to take effect in February, but, in the meantime, consumer advocates are warning many dangerous toys remain on the shelves this holiday season.
The New York Public Interest Research Group released two toy safety reports Wednesday.
"This report, over its 23-year history, has lead to over 130 recalls and other actions taken to get dangerous toys off of store shelves," said NYPIRG consumer attorney Tracy Shelton.
The second annual Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys, found that despite a new law calling for tougher toxic toy protections, shoppers still have cause to be concerned. Researchers tested 1,500 toys and found that one in three has significant levels of toxic chemicals – including lead, cadmium, flame retardants and arsenic.
Both surveys stress that government officials should do more to ensure unsafe toys never make it into the hands of children.
The group has identified dozens of toys found in New York stores that will soon be listed as hazardous substances.
The Littlest Pet Shop "Sportiest Vinyl Purse" has little parts which can be choking hazards.
“If a toy fits into this tube or smaller than a golf ball it's too small for a child under the age of three,” said Ryan Bullerdick of NYPIRG.
NYPIRG claims that The Pony Land Scented Pony Pet contains 95 times the legal amount of the phthalates. The Beginner Band Set by Melissa and Doug is said to contain over 16 times the current legal limit of lead.
Dangerous toys sold nationwide include a Hannah Montana graphic necklace sold by Disney and a Halloween Pumpkin Pin and a Bracelets Collection sold at The Christmas Tree Shop.
"The buck should stop with the toy manufacturers. The toy shouldn't be made in the first place and these chemicals shouldn't be used in toys in the first place," said Shelton.
For more information, go to HealthyToys.org and NYPIRG.org.