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Dangerous toys list released for holiday season

Ellen Abbott
NYPRIG demonstrates some of the dangers of small pieces and parts of popular toys.

The New York Public Information Research Group wants to remind shoppers to take safety into consideration when buying toys this holiday season. The group has released it’s 2013 list of dangerous and toxic toys that can be found on store shelves across New York state.

You can buy the cute Littlest Pet Shop toys in stores across central New York. But beware, the cute little seals and dolphins can be dangerous.

"It’s intact in the package, but the head comes apart from the small body, and it’s clear the small body is too small for the choke tube," Nicole St. James, with NYPIRG, said.

St. James is describing the choking danger of this toy using the standard tube that tests toys to make sure they fall under the size guideline for choking hazards. And while choking may be the highest profile reason to recall toys, there are other dangers on store shelves according to NYPIRG, including toys with excessive levels of toxic chemicals, magnets that can be ingested and cause digestive problems and toys that are pointed or rigid and can cause puncture wound injuries.

NYPIRG’s Jessica Johmmes says things can also get tricky with something like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pencil case discovered to have high rates of phalates.

“This pencil case may be excluded from rules because it can be argued that it’s neither a toy or child care article," Johmmes said. "Any child’s product can end up as a chew toy for a younger child, so were calling on the CPSC and Congress to include products like this in phalate regulations.”

While there has been progress made in getting some of these dangerous toys off the market, more can be done. Johmmes says there are some new recommendations for the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"The commission should revise the small parts standard to better protect children from choking hazards. The commission should also continue to move forward developing safety standards for magnets and setting a limit for cadmium, antimony and other toxics in toys.”

St. James says there have been strides over the past 28 years, getting dangerous toys off store shelves.

“When we first started doing this report, toy hazards littered toy store shelves and toys didn’t have any sort of warnings on them," St. James said. "Today, because of this work most toys are safe and fun for children. Our reports alone have lead to at least 150 Consumer Product Safety Commission recalls and other enforcements.”

NYPIRG hopes this list makes holiday shoppers aware of some of the dangers that may lurk in the toy aisle.