Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

Dangerous Toys Highlighted in New Report

U.S. PIRG releases annual toy safety report

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    The clear plastic tube on top of the report is what is used to check the size of items that could be a choking hazard. If the item fits inside, it’s too small.

    Toxic and dangerous toys were the focus of a report released Tuesday that targets some toys for sale on store shelves.

    Over the past few years, toys have become safer. Thanks to recent federal laws, we're seeing fewer recalls, but potentially dangerous toys are still out there because not every toy for sale is tested for safety.

    The U.S. Public Interest Research Group tested toys and other children's products from major retailers and dollar stores for its 26th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report.

    At a press conference Tuesday, PIRG released its findings.

    They included noisy toys that can cause hearing loss.

    PIRG also warned about choking hazards. It found several toys included small parts that violated the Consumer Product Safety Commission's standards for children younger than 3 years old.

    And once again PIRG found high levels of lead and phthalates, a toxic chemical used to make plastic softer in some toys.

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission attended Tuesday's news conference and echoed PIRG's warnings.

    "Providing safe toys for children is the toy industry's highest priority ... but assuring that all play is safe is a shared responsibility with parents and caregivers," the Toy Industry Association said.

    About 80 percent of the toys that come into the U.S. are actually manufactured overseas. Starting Jan. 1 the CPSC will start enforcing a new general toy standard that will require independent third party lab testing before toys are introduced into the market.

    You can view PIRG’s report here.

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