The United States Public Interest Research Group

The United States Public Interest Research Group recently released their report on the safety level of toys and other children’s products. Noting progress, not perfection, the organization found a small fraction of children’s toys tested for toxic substances and choking risks to still be in violation of federal safety regulations. PIRG credited a 2008 federal law that imposed stronger regulations and standards on these products to help make them safer. In their 25th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report on hazardous playthings, the group focused on lead or other metal tainted toys, soft plastic toys that contain chemicals harmful to children — in particular, phthalates — and toys with small parts that can be choking hazard for young children.

There were certain toys that were found with higher than permissible levels of lead or antimony, including toys sold at stores such as Toys “R” Us and Family Dollar. Other specific toys included a stuffed animal monkey made by Play Pets that contain lead in excess of acceptable limits, a red handle of a book sold at Toys “R” Us that contained antimony that was twice the limit, and surface coating of a wild ranger toy gun sold at Family Dollar high levels of antimony.

During the upcoming shopping season, parents should exercise extra caution when purchasing age-appropriate toys for children. Our firm wishes every family a happy holiday season – and especially safe December 2010.