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Parents Beware—Many Toys Still Toxic, Hazardous
11/20/2012
Palmetto Health Children's Hospital teams up with U.S. PIRG to Offer Tips and Interactive Tools to Help Consumers Shop Safely

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (PIRG) 27th annual Trouble in Toyland report.

Palmetto Health Children's Hospital partnered with U.S. PIRG to release its report which reveals the results of laboratory testing for toxic chemicals and identifies toys that pose choking hazards. It also includes guidance for avoiding common hazards.

“U.S. PIRG has made a lot of progress, but there is still danger in the toy box,” said Dr. Jeff Holloway, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital and USC Sports Medicine pediatrician. “Here at Palmetto Health Children's Hospital, we wanted to make the report available to help parents and grandparents identify and avoid the worst threats and keep their children safe this year,” he explained.

For 27 years, the Trouble in Toyland report has offered safety guidelines for purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that pose potential safety hazards. The group also provides an interactive website with tips for safe toy shopping that consumers can access on their smartphones at www.ToySafety.Mobi.

Key findings from the report include:
• Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. U.S. PIRG found toys which contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead content above the 100 parts per million limit.
• Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under three, U.S. PIRG found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards.
• U.S. PIRG also found toys that are potentially harmful to children’s ears and exceed the noise standards recommended by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
• U.S. PIRG discovered small powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed.

“Although, parents can shop and children can play with confidence this holiday season,” said CPSC Commissioner Robert Adler. “We still need to continue to work together with consumers and industry to promote product safety.”

“Parents and toy givers need to remember that while the CPSC is doing a good job, no government agency tests all toys before they hit store shelves. Consumers should also remember that toys that are not on our list of examples could also pose hazards,” Nasima Hossain concluded. “The message of today is clear. Parents have to stay vigilant. We cannot and must not accept any weakening of our consumer and public health safeguards because they protect young children, America's littlest consumers.”

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About U.S. PIRG
U.S. PIRG takes on powerful interests on behalf of its members, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being.

About Children's Hospital
Palmetto Health Children's Hospital is the state's first and only freestanding children's hospital. Each year, Palmetto Health Children's Hospital treats more than 80,000 sick and injured children. As a major pediatric referral center, Children's Hospital maintains more than 30 medical subspecialties devoted strictly to children.