Did you know that more toys are purchased in the United States between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas Day than during the entire rest of the year? During the holiday gift giving season, it is tempting to buy children the newest toys with the brightest colors or cutest characters, but researchers suggest that many toys on the shelves are not safe for kids and that’s when the case goes to personal injury attorneys.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group issues a “Trouble in Toyland” report each year. This year’s report noted the toys that pose the typical choking and laceration hazards, it also outlines a concerning number of toys that pose chemical exposure threats.
The report explains that children’s toys often contain three types of chemicals that are unsafe for kids: lead, phthalates and antimony.
Most parents know to avoid toys with lead-based paint after the many recalls lead caused in 2008. After those recalls, Congress passed a new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act limiting the amount of lead that is allowed in children’s toys. Unfortunately, some toys still contain this dangerous chemical.
For example, Monkey in Banana by Uncle Fun exceeds the limit set by Congress and was recalled. Princess Expressions Tiara and Jewelry Set does not violate the law, but it comes very close. Parents should be aware that these kinds of toys are still on the shelves.
The second type of chemicals, phthalates, has gotten significant attention lately. These chemicals have been linked to reproductive problems down the road for children who are exposed to them. The stronger consumer protection laws passed by Congress actually banned nay types of phthalates, but toys still contain them.
Baby Doll, another toy by Uncle Fun, is designed to be chewed on by small children. But the toy has two different kinds of phthalates in it. The popular retailer Claire’s also sells a Dora the Explorer backpack that contains a high amount of phthalates on the plastic.
Later this week, we will examine the last category of chemicals found in children’s toys: antimony. We will also explain the tips that PIRG gave for parents to avoid toys that contain dangerous chemicals.