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Most children's toys unsafe, consumer watchdog reveals

The Local · 21 Oct 2010, 15:44

Published: 21 Oct 2010 15:44 GMT+02:00

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“The results are frightening and should disturb parents,” said Hubertus Primus, the independent organisation's publishing director.

Some of the toys failed to fulfil safety requirements, and seven of the 50 toys included in the test section for children under three should never have been sold, Primus said.

The country of origin played no role in the safety of the toys, he added.

“'Made in Germany' is not better than 'Made in China',” he said.

And wooden toys, often touted as a safer, more natural alternative to synthetic products, were also found to be lacking. In fact, six of the eight toys with the best results were made of plastic.

Name brand toys weren’t much better, Stiftung Warentest found. Brands such as Brio, Eichhorn, Fisher Price, Plan Toys, Selecta, sigikid and Steiff, all highly regarded by parents, were included in the test. But none of the toys marketed as “natural” was found to be free of toxic substances.

Substances found in the toys included those suspected of causing cancer, damaging genetic make-up or causing infertility. Children can easily ingest these substances through breathing or contact with their skin or mouth.

Meanwhile seals of approval were found to be unreliable, study leader Holger Brackemann said. Even toys bearing the coveted inspection association TÜV’s seal did not pass the organisation’s safety requirements. A toy horse had parts small enough for children to swallow, and a plush monkey caught fire much sooner than national safety regulations allow.

Dangerous chemicals were found on two other plush toys. One of them, a stuffed rabbit, contained lead. Researchers also found carcinogenic dye on a teddy bear. The manufacturers have since taken the toys off the market, Brackemann said.

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Substances found in the toys included those suspected of causing cancer, damaging genetic make-up or causing infertility. Children can easily ingest these substances through breathing or contact with their skin or mouth.

The organisation recommended that parents double check new toys for small parts and strong smells before purchasing them, adding that dolls are safest when made of fabric.


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The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:37 October 21, 2010 by William Thirteen
damn, i was hoping to pick up a few Plushies On Fire for some flame retardant children this Xmas!
10:06 October 22, 2010 by tallady
consumer safety advocates leave very little to purchase..I recently read that the AMA,,have added Würstchen (hotdogs) to their list of unsafe foods ...".possible choking" they recommend that you cut it up before eating........
03:40 October 24, 2010 by SilverBattleAxe
I thought we paid taxes so that government agencies would prevent unsafe items like these from being sold to consumers? No? Items that contain lead are being sold to children that may potentially nerologically damage them for life all for the sake of profits to Chinese companies. Just don't but any toys for your children.They will probably thank you years later for not exposing them to poisons.
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