Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Consumer group warns of dangers on store shelves
First Published Nov 20 2012 09:07 am • Last Updated Nov 26 2012 09:59 am

Washington • A Dora the Explorer guitar, dragster cars with small wheels and finger-fidget desktop magnets are among the toys that consumer advocates are warning about as the holiday buying season begins.

In its annual "Trouble in Toyland" report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group examined more than 200 toys on store shelves at major retailers and dollar stores and found about a dozen that could be dangerous to children.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

The Dora guitar was too loud, the group said Tuesday, and tested slightly above the limit that hearing experts recommend. The dragster car had small rubber traction bands on the wheels that could be a choking hazard, and a too-tiny warning label.

Compared to previous years, lead and other toxins were less a concern, thanks to a 2008 product safety law that ushered in stricter limits on metals and chemicals in toys. Instead, much of the focus was on small magnet toys and jewelry.

PIRG cited government estimates of 1,700 emergency room visits between 2009 and 2011 involving the ingestion of high-powered magnets. Most of the cases involved children between 4 and 12 years old. Older children have accidentally ingested the balls while trying to mimic tongue piercings. The magnets, such as the ones in the popular Buckyball desktop toys, can cling together if swallowed, pinch internal tissue and lead to serious injuries.

This summer, the Consumer Product Safety Commission sued New York-based Maxfield and Oberton, the maker of the Buckyball desktop toys, to stop their sale. The finger-play toys are designed for adults, but CPSC said it was seeing too many injuries involving children. Maxfield has maintained the toys are for adults, marketed to adults and carry clear warning labels — but it announced last month that it would stop making the Buckyball series. CPSC is considering a ban on similar magnet sets.

PIRG found one toy that violated the new stricter lead limits. It found no toys or jewelry that exceeded the voluntary industry limits for cadmium. Both metals can delay brain development in children, leading to learning disabilities.

PIRG also did not find phthalates — chemicals that are used to make plastic products softer but can cause health problems — above the federal standard in the toys it tested.




Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.