Thursday, November 21st, 2013
More than 200,000 toy dolls shipped to the United States from China for the holiday gift-giving season were seized by U.S. authorities because the dolls were found to contain phthalates, a toxic chemical that has been linked to premature births, among other health risks. More from CNN.com:
The toys contained high levels of phthalates, which are chemical plasticizers used to make materials softer and more pliable, authorities said. Congress has banned the chemical in children’s toys.
The U.S. Commercial Targeting and Analysis Center began targeting the shipments in April because they threatened children’s safety, authorities said.
“Using advanced technology to track certain shipments before they reach our shores is helping CPSC better protect America’s consumers,” Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum said in a statement.
U.S. authorities didn’t identify the manufacturer of the toys Tuesday.
A total of 10 shipments valued at almost $500,000 were seized at the ports of Chicago; Dallas; Los Angeles; Norfolk, Virginia; Memphis, Tennessee; Newark, New Jersey; Portland, Oregon; and Savannah, Georgia, authorities said.
Tenenbaum said her agency and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection have been targeting dangerous imports at several major ports through the use of a risk management system. Those efforts resulted in the seizure of more than 1.1 million unsafe products last fiscal year, authorities said. At the same time, the system also allows “for faster processing of compliant products,” she said.
Image: Toy doll, via Shutterstock
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Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
Toy balls that are meant to absorb water and grow to 400 times their normal size have been voluntarily recalled after the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) identified the toys as hazards for children who may swallow them before they come into contact with water. CNN reports:
The CPSC said the marble-size toy can be swallowed, and once inside the stomach, it can expand and cause blockage in the small intestine. The toys do not show up on an x-ray and require surgery to be removed, according to the commission.
Nearly 95,000 Water Balz (round shape), Growing Skulls (skull shape), H2O Orbs “Despicable Me” (round shape) and Fabulous Flowers (flower shape) toys were sold in stores in the United States and Canada from 2010 to November 2012.
An 8-month-old Texas girl reportedly ingested a Water Balz last year and underwent surgery to remove the toy. The packaging states the toy “Grows to the Size of a Racquetball!”
Image: Water Balz, via http://www.cpsc.gov
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Friday, November 23rd, 2012
The U.S. Public Interest Research Organization has released its 27th annual “Trouble in Toyland” survey, which has found on store shelves a number of toys that are known to be dangerous or made of toxic materials. The offending toys include those that pose choking or laceration hazards, contain toxic chemicals like lead and BPA that are associated with health risks, or exceed recommended limits for safe noise levels around young ears.
Parents are urged to carefully read all printed warnings on toys they are planning to purchase this holiday season, and to review the report to educate themselves on the warning signs of a dangerous toy.
CNN.com has more:
Over the years, the organization said, its reports have led to more than 150 recalls and other regulatory actions.
This year’s list “includes a potentially dangerous magnet toy, a bowling game that is a choking hazard and a key chain rattle that may be harmful to little ears,” it said.
Researchers visited national toy stores, malls and dollar stores in September, October and November this year to look for potential toxic, choking, strangulation and noise hazards.
“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys,” said Nasima Hossain, public health advocate for Public Interest Research Group, in a release detailing the report.
The Toy Industry Association, which represents more than 500 manufacturers in the United States, said, “Safety is our top priority all year,” and a spokesman called the group’s survey “another of its needlessly frightening reports.”
Image: Child in toy store, via Shutterstock
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Thursday, July 14th, 2011
A Consumer Product Safety Commission panel voted Wednesday to lower the allowable levels of lead in toys made for children under 12. The new standard, which takes effect next month, will require toys to be 99.99 percent lead-free, compared to the current standard of 99.97 percent.
The new limit is one of the lowest in the world, but the vote was split 3-2, along the panel’s party lines. As The Associated Press reports:
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Proponents say there’s no known safe level of lead, which can cause irreversible brain damage, learning disabilities, and other problems such as aggressive behavior. With its vote, the agency decided that it is “technologically feasible’’ for manufacturers in the United States and overseas to make products that meet the lower lead standard.
“As a result of the commission’s decision today, consumers can rest assured that lead should be virtually nonexistent in toys and other children’s products,’’ said commission chairwomen Inez Tenenbaum, a Democrat.
The panel’s Republicans, Nancy Nord and Anne Northup, criticized the decision, saying the amount of allowable lead is essentially trace levels.
(image via: http://babydickey.com/)