New survey finds toxins, other hazards in popular toys

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This holiday season, the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) is warning consumers to be careful when shopping for toys this holiday season. 

NYPIRG’s 33rd annual Trouble in Toyland report found toxic amounts of boron in slime products and a failure by Amazon to appropriately label choking hazards. 

For more than 30 years, Trouble in Toyland has issued toy safety guidelines and has provided examples of toys currently on store shelves that pose potential safety hazards to small children. 

Key findings from this year’s report include:

  • Hazardous Slime: A number of popular ‘slimes’ had toxic levels of boron, likely in the form of borax, up to fifteen times the European Union’s limit. According to the EPA, ingesting boron can cause nausea, vomiting, long-term reproductive health issues and can even be fatal. There are currently no limits on boron in children’s toys in the U.S.
  • Missing Online Choking Warnings: In a survey of five search pages for balloons sold on Amazon, U.S. PIRG found no choking hazard labels on 87 percent of the latex balloons marketed to parents of children under 2, an apparent violation of the law. Among children’s products, balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death.
  • Privacy-Invasive Smart Toys: The report also highlights two smart toys, a robot toy and a tablet, with privacy concerns discovered through an investigation by the Mozilla Foundation. Every year, the potential for smart toys to expose private data becomes a more significant concern.

Read their entire findings here. 
 

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