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Toy report: Kids exposed to lead, carcinogens, choking hazards

November 22, 2011 | 10:37 am

Holiday toys: Bringers of joy or dangerous hazards? A new report says that some dolls, games and other children’s products may be toxic or unsafe for kids.

In its 26th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that several toys contained high levels of lead or chemical phthalates, present choking or strangulation hazards or could lead to hearing damage.

More than 250,000 children went to emergency rooms in 2010 with injuries related to toys, according to the group.

Two toys contained phthalates -– a chemical that research suggests could hinder development in youth –- at levels 40 and 70 times allowable limits.

Nearly 200,000 toys were recalled this year because they had too much lead content -– including in coatings on stuffed animals, the group said.

The group found one toy car that was louder than the suggested 85-decibel limit, as well as a toy cellphone and a headphone that tested at greater than 65 decibels.

Between 1990 and 2010, more than 400 children died from toy-related injuries –- more than half of them from choking on small parts, balloons or balls, according to the group.


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-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Rick Bowmer / Associated Press