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More Dangers Found in Toys

Truman_and_toys.jpg On the heels of recalls of lead paint-tainted toys come concerns about other dangerous chemicals. The nonprofit Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) submitted more than 250 commercially available "suspect" items to government-certified laboratories for testing. The lead lab detected asbestos in several products--including the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, one of this season's popular toys--a finding confirmed by two other labs.

A spokesperson for Planet Toys, which manufactures and distributes the kit, is quoted with the following response in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer:

"The kit has been tested and has met all safety standards requirements as set by toy safety agencies and legislation, including the Consumer Product Safety Commission. ... The agencies don't require asbestos testing and therefore we have never been apprised of any unacceptable levels of asbestos."

About 1,200 children's products were tested in a separate study commissioned by consumer and environmental health groups. More than one-third of those products were found to contain lead, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, or other dangerous compounds.

The Wall Street Journal notes though that "It isn't clear whether the group's lead-testing methodology is similar to the one used by the Consumer Products [sic] Safety Commission, which hasn't announced recalls for most of the toys on the list." The list can be viewed at HealthyToys.org.

Links:
"Asbestos Turns Up in Toys, Children's Clay" (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
"Over One-Third of Toys in Test Contain Dangerous Chemicals" (Wall Street Journal)
"ADAO Releases Findings That Reveal Evidence of Asbestos in Everyday Products" (ADAO press release; PDF)
Consumer Product Safety Commission, including list of product recalls and searchable database of product safety standards

Photo: "Truman and Dora Toys (Since Recalled)" by gisarah.

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