Trouble in Toyland report details this year's hazardous holiday - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Trouble in Toyland report details this year's hazardous holiday gifts

Posted: Updated:
Four toys that pose toxic hazards. (USPIRG photo) Four toys that pose toxic hazards. (USPIRG photo)
Two magnet toys that may post ingestion hazards. (USPIRG photo) Two magnet toys that may post ingestion hazards. (USPIRG photo)
Five toys that may post noise hazards. (USPIRG photo) Five toys that may post noise hazards. (USPIRG photo)
Eleven toys that may post choking hazards or may violate choke hazard warning rules. (USPIRG photo) Eleven toys that may post choking hazards or may violate choke hazard warning rules. (USPIRG photo)
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -

A consumer advocacy group released its 30th annual dangerous and toxic toys list ahead of the holiday shopping season.

ConnPIRG's Trouble in Toyland report on Tuesday surveyed potentially hazardous toys and found that despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping.

Laboratory tests looked for toxic chemicals, like chromium and phthalates, which can have an impact on a child's health. Researchers also looked for choking hazards, loudness which could affect hearing and magnets that can cause internal injuries if swallowed.

 “We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe," said Evan Preston, ConnPIRG education fund director. "However, until that’s the case, toy buyers need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys.”

Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. Researchers had chemical testing done at a lab which is accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). They found the Fun Bubbles jump rope from Dollar Tree which had 10 times the legal limit of the banned phthalate DEHP (tested at 10,000 ppm), and also had 190,000 ppm of the toxic phthalate DIBP which has not yet been banned.
  • Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under the age of three, ConnPIRG found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards. It found a fairy wand from Dollar Tree that has small parts that easily break off, but was not labeled as a choking hazard.
  • ConnPIRG found inadequate warning labels in the Disney Pixar Cars Riplash Racers and Disney Planes from Marshalls, G2 Air Mini Football and a Disney Finding Nemo Dory figurine from Five Below, and a Nickelodeon Mermaid Dora the Explorer from Target. These products may have labels suitable for foreign countries, but they were not sufficient to meet U.S. standards.
  • Small balls pose a hazard for young children who are inclined to put objects in or near their mouths. ConnPIRG found Magic Towels packaged as a small baseball and a small football at Dollar Tree which did not have the appropriate small ball warning label.
  • Balloons pose the most serious choking hazard to children in the U.S. All of the balloon packages ConnPIRG found did include the required warning label reading that children under eight can choke on balloons and balloon parts. However, it found three balloon sets from Party City which included a second, confusing label indicating that the products are for children ages three and older: the Balloon Animal Kit, Mega Value Pack 16 Latex Punch Balloons, and Mega Value Pack 12 Water Bomb Packs.
  • ConnPIRG also found toys that are potentially harmful to children’s hearing. We found the Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels, Vtech Go! Go! Smart Animals, Vtech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight, Fisher Price Click n Learn Remote, and Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set from Target that, while they don’t violate federal standards, were found to be extremely loud at the ear and at a distance.
  • ConnPIRG continued to find small, powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed. It found Sizzlers noise magnets from Family Dollar, and Singing magnets from Dollar Tree that are “near-small-parts” which, while they don’t violate federal standards, are small enough to be swallowed and can cause severe internal damage.

“Our leaders and consumer watchdogs need to do more to protect our youngest consumers from the hazards of unsafe toys – no child should ever be injured, get sick, or die from playing with a dangerous toy,” Preston said. “Also, the CPSC should finalize its rule to include other toxic phthalates like DIBP on its list of banned phthalates.”

To read the complete report, click here.  

For more information about the research click here.

Copyright 2015 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.