With Christmas shopping season underway, parents and consumers around the country need to be vigilant about the kind of toys that they buy as gifts. A new report released just in time for the shopping season, warns consumers that while children’s toys are a lot safer than they were a couple of years ago, there’s still much to look out for.
The report, Trouble in Toyland has been compiled by the US Public Interest Research Group. It is the group’s 26th annual report and is based on a survey of consumers. According to the report, the main toy-related concerns in 2011 are choking, strangulation hazards and the presence of toxic chemicals in toys.
These are problems that the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 attempted to deal with. For instance, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 set strict limits on the presence of lead in children’s toys. There were also strict limitations on the presence of harmful chemicals known as phthalates in children’s toys and products. However, the Trouble in Toyland report finds that these chemicals are present in excessive quantities in quite a few toys.
The researchers found a few toys that contained concentrations of lead that were higher than the permissible levels outlined in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008. There were also a few toys that contained more-than-acceptable levels of phthalates. These are chemical substances that are frequently used in the manufacture of plastic products as well as a number of other household products. These chemicals have been found to contribute to reproductive disorders and early labor.
The report also found several products in the market that pose serious choking hazards to children. In fact, data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission shows that between October 2009 and October 2010, choking hazards were the number one cause of recalls by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The report found several toys that barely met the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards, and some that continued to be dangerous even though they met the standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Toys that have been purchased for older children may come with hazardous small parts that pose a risk of choking. When these toys get into the hands of younger children in the family, there are serious risks of a choking accident. In 2009, 2 children died of choking-related accidents. Between 1990 and 2009, choking-related accidents caused at least 190 child deaths.
The researchers recommend that the Consumer Product Safety Commission review its definition of a ‘small part’ or a potential ‘choking hazard’ to include those parts that meet current levels, but may pose a choking hazard to children. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also needs to continue enforcing the provisions of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act and restrictions on lead, phthalates and other chemicals.
The Indiana personal injury lawyers at Montross Miller Muller Mendelson and Kennedy are dedicated to the representation of persons who have been injured due to the negligence of others across Indiana.