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Despite Congressional action in 2008 that beefed up the Consumer Products Safety Commission to pull hazardous toys from store shelves, a Georgia Public Interest Research Group survey shows some products still pose a threat to kids.
The group’s 26thannual “Trouble in Toyland” report found lead in toys, small pieces that posed a choking hazard to children and electronics that emitted noise at volumes that exceeded those deemed safe for kids.
What’s more, some toys didn’t have any warnings about choking hazards or which toys were suitable for children and at what ages.
One example of a toy with lead was the “Little Hands Love,” a book for infants with pages featuring different textures and what they feel like.
But under the current regulations, such books’ paper stock cannot have lead levels exceeding 100 parts per million — 300 parts per million if manufactured before August 2011.
The “Little Hands Love,” book, though was found to have 700 parts per million, said Jessica Wilson, Georgia PIRG’s program associate.
“This book is a teething and touching toy for infants,” Wilson said.
But Richard Hilicki, president of Dalmatian Press LLC, parent company to Piggy Toes Press, which publishes "Little Hands Love," disputes the Georgia PIRG's finding.
In an e-mail to East Atlanta Patch, Hillicki said their independent laboratory's tests of the book — last updated Aug. 30 — show it to be in complete compliance with U.S. toy safety regulations.
"These tests were conducted by Bureau Veritas, a major 3rd party testing company approved by major retailers including Walmart and Target," Hillicki wrote in his e-mail, which included a copy of the report [see the attached PDF].
"These results clearly show that "Little Hands Love" meets all U.S. safety requirements and poses no safety issue to children one and above, for whom the product is age-graded. Piggy Toes Press proudly stands behind its products which meet or exceed all safety guidelines."
Similarly, the Toy Industry Association, the companies’ chief trade and lobbying group, says U.S. regulations are among the strictest in the world and that less than one-half percent of the roughly 3 billion toys sold each year in the United States are recalled.
“The U.S. government consistently lists toys among the safest of 15 common consumer product categories in the home,” TIA said in a statement.
“In order to keep pace with innovations in toys and potential emerging issues, experts from the industry continually work with medical experts, consumer groups and government officials to further strengthen the rigorous design, production, testing and inspection procedures that assure the safety of toys."
Georgia PIRG has these toy safety resources for parents:
- Toy Safety Mobi (for smartphones and home computers)
- Safer Products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission's database of both potential hazards and recalled products
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