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Federal institute warns of toxins in toys

DDP/The Local · 7 Dec 2009, 10:23

Published: 07 Dec 2009 08:15 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Dec 2009 10:23 GMT+01:00

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“There is an urgent need for action,” BfR experts said in a new federal study.

According to the WAZ media group on Monday the amount of dangerous substances contained in children’s playthings far exceeds allowed levels – often by a factor of several hundred.

The BfR connected this to a “rising number of cancer infections” among children. The organisation also called European Union toy regulations put into place last year insufficient.

The EU has no rules for permitted levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, known as PAH, which have been linked to cancer. According to the BfR, PAHs are suspected of "changing genotypes, causing cancer and impairing reproduction."

According to EU regulations, one particularly dangerous and frequently used chemical compound should only be allowed in concentrations of up to 100 milligrammes per kilogramme.

“Already in this case children would take in the same amount as that contained in 40 cigarettes per day in just one hour of contact,” the study said.

But it’s also not too difficult to avoid dangerous toys, the TÜV safety certification organisation told the paper.

Many toys containing carcinogens are from China, though spokesperson Rainer Weiskirchen emphasised that not all toys from the country are potentially hazardous.

Story continues below…

Another TÜV expert told the paper that one simple way to recognise potentially dangerous toys is with a smelling test.

“I call it the one-euro-store smell,” TÜV expert Stefanie Drückler said. “It bites at the nose immediately.”

The organisation recommends avoiding toys with this distinctive smell and choosing toys with the Geprüfte Sicherheit symbol, which features a large “GS” logo and guarantees safety. Parents should also not buy in no-name stores or online.

DDP/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

09:44 December 7, 2009 by Macqueene
Please name the toy-maker companies or the toys to avoid. What's the use of this news without any details?
22:29 December 8, 2009 by theladdie
Yeah I agree!

My daughter has a fisherprice "little people" toy and its made in china and does not have any of the TUV or GS logos!

What does that mean for me... I remember a while ago that fisherprice was busted for a similar thing (lead in the paint or something)...

Well I would like to know if there is a list but also I am bucketing her toys! Great Xmas
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