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Public Interest Group Discovers Toys with Lead, Dangerous Chemicals Still on Store Shelves

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As the holiday season approaches many parents will travel to the stores, eager to swoop up the latest toys for their children. Luckily, a new law that bans six dangerous chemicals from children’s toys, as well as lowering the lead limit, will help to keep children safer this year. However, what many parents don’t realize is that a number of toys at major retailers still contain dangerous chemicals and high levels of lead.

According to a recently released report by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), many manufacturers are complying with the new regulations—but some still aren’t, and it is difficult for consumers to know the difference between safe and unsafe toys. U.S. PIRG sent 15 toys to independent laboratories for testing and found that four of the toys had excessive amounts of lead. Furthermore, two of the toys contained another dangerous chemical known as phthalates, which is widely found in plastic toys and has been linked to reproductive and other health problems. Congress overwhelmingly voted in 2008 to ban phthalates and to significantly reduce the amount of lead in children’s toys in response to the dangerously high levels of lead in toys imported from China during the last several years.

Despite the news that some toy manufacturers are still failing to comply with the new law, the U.S. PIRG stated that they “have seen substantial progress over the last year because of the new law and new leadership at the Consumer Product Safety Commission.” To help protect consumers and help them make wise choices in regards to the toys they purchase for their children, the U.S. PIRG has launched a tool with toy safety tips that parents can access via their cell phones.