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Hottest Holiday Toys High in Hazardous Chemicals

Posted by on Dec. 5, 2009 at 3:36 PM
  • 9 Replies
Dec 05, 2009 06:00 ET

Hottest Holiday Toys High in Hazardous Chemicals: GoodGuide Finds Levels of Antimony & Chromium Above Legal Limits in Some of Season's Most Popular Toys

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - December 5, 2009) - Parents who have not yet managed to score a Zhu Zhu Pet this holiday season might want to breathe a sigh of relief. The Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Mr Squiggles, the Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid, and the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Farm were three of this holiday season's hot toys with higher-than-mandated amounts of several toxic chemicals, GoodGuide announced today.

GoodGuide, which provides health, environment and social responsibility ratings on consumer products, tested the top holiday toys from Wal-Mart, Toys R Us and Amazon. "We rated the most popular toys as these are the ones that will end up under the most Christmas trees this year," said Dara O'Rourke, CEO and co-founder of GoodGuide. "These are big brand toys with two of them -- Zhu Zhu Pets and Bakugan Maxus Dragonoid -- nominated for Toy of the Year awards by the Toy Industry Association."

The tests administered by GoodGuide revealed the higher-than-allowed presence of two potentially toxic elements: antimony and chromium. Depending on the level of exposure, antimony can lead to cancer, lung and heart problems and impacts on fertility. And certain forms of chromium can be associated with cancer and reproductive hazards. The new Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act introduced mandatory limits on the amount of these elements in toys in February of 2009.

"While most people won't have heard of these elements since the time they studied the periodic table at school, they do have known health effects which is why the rule went into place to limit them in toys," said O'Rourke. "The toy industry has done a lot to improve product safety, particularly when it comes to lead, but our tests reveal that some surprisingly big name toys are still slipping through the cracks with other toxic chemicals."

The current federal standard for both antimony and chromium is 60 ppm (parts per million). GoodGuide tests revealed the following amounts:

-----------------------------------------------    -----------    --------
Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Dragonoid                     466-807 ppm    Chromium
-----------------------------------------------    -----------    --------
Bakugan 7-in-1 Maxus Helios                        143-756 ppm    Chromium
-----------------------------------------------    -----------    --------
Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Laughing Farm             193 ppm      Chromium
-----------------------------------------------    -----------    --------
Zhu Zhu Pet Hamster Mr Squiggles                    93-106 ppm    Antimony
-----------------------------------------------    -----------    --------
International Playthings My First Purse (Purple)      76 ppm      Antimony
-----------------------------------------------    -----------    --------

"As a father, I know how highly anticipated some of these holiday gifts can be," said O'Rourke. "At the same time, every parent wants to make sure they are giving their child a safe toy." Parents can check out the ratings at http://www.goodguide.com/ before they buy.

On the good news front, out of the 15 hottest holiday toys rated by GoodGuide, none of them had lead in them and two of them scored a perfect 10 on Health & Safety. The star performers are:

-- LEGO Star Wars The Clone Wars Fan's Vote Anniversary Edition - Home One Mon Calamari Star Cruiser, and

-- ChixOs Pink Design-A-Luxury Loft

The remaining toys were found to have one or more of the following toxic chemicals at concerning levels: arsenic, bromine, chlorine, antimony, chromium, or tin.

In addition to the ratings of the 15 hot holiday toys, consumers can find ratings for more than 700 new toys and over 2000 toys total at http://www.goodguide.com/. These ratings are produced in partnership with HealthyStuff.org, a project of The Ecology Center.

A Thermo Scientific NITON XL3t series X-ray fluorescence analyzer was used for GoodGuide's analysis. XRF technology is a method for determining levels of specific elements found within a wide variety of surfaces and materials. The top layer of a toy is analyzed which is what children are most likely to be in contact with. The GoodGuide research team tested multiple samples of each toy and different parts from each sample.

About GoodGuide

GoodGuide helps consumers find safe, healthy, and socially responsible products and companies. GoodGuide currently offers detailed product information for personal care, household chemical, toy and food products on its website at http://www.goodguide.com/, through its iPhone application and on online commerce websites. By making information about consumer products transparent, GoodGuide's goal is to help people shop smarter and motivate companies to offer even better products.

 

 "Everything that is or was began with a dream." ~ Lava Girl

by on Dec. 5, 2009 at 3:36 PM
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stormcris
by Christy on Dec. 5, 2009 at 3:39 PM

These are all made in China?

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cesca511
by Member on Dec. 5, 2009 at 3:47 PM


Quoting stormcris:

These are all made in China?


Probably,

 "Everything that is or was began with a dream." ~ Lava Girl

Talee
by Gold Member on Dec. 5, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Good grief....I am glad my kids are not playing with toys per say anymore...

tericared
by on Dec. 5, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Why arent they tested before they are put on the shelves? 

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Talee
by Gold Member on Dec. 5, 2009 at 4:08 PM


Quoting tericared:

Why arent they tested before they are put on the shelves? 


$$$?

This reminds me of something that happened a while back with thrift stores...remember when there was some law or guideline that would put second hand stores out of business because of clothing and toys containing lead or whatever which were made in China???? What happened to that?

 

tericared
by on Dec. 5, 2009 at 4:14 PM


Quoting Talee:


 

 

Quoting tericared:

Why arent they tested before they are put on the shelves? 

 

$$$?

This reminds me of something that happened a while back with thrift stores...remember when there was some law or guideline that would put second hand stores out of business because of clothing and toys containing lead or whatever which were made in China???? What happened to that?

 

I remember that.......good question

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Talee
by Gold Member on Dec. 5, 2009 at 4:39 PM


Quoting tericared:


Quoting Talee:


 

 

Quoting tericared:

Why arent they tested before they are put on the shelves? 


$$$?

This reminds me of something that happened a while back with thrift stores...remember when there was some law or guideline that would put second hand stores out of business because of clothing and toys containing lead or whatever which were made in China???? What happened to that?


 

I remember that.......good question

LOL things that make you go Hmmmmmm about our gov't huh....

disgusting.


 

JenE4
by Silver Member on Dec. 6, 2009 at 11:20 AM

I got my son that Bakugan Draganoid--the worst one. What does this mean? Is it dangerous just to touch--or only if he'd be gnawing on it? What problems might it cause? I wish this article gave a little bit more information rather than just causing a generalized panic.

Jen
Mom to Emma, 13; Wyatt, 10; and baby Sofia...babies

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Raintree
by Ruby Member on Dec. 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Well, if the risks are cancer and reproductive disorders, I'd be concerned whether or not the chromium leaches out via chewing or just touching- and I'll bet it is just touching. These aren't little kid toys. My boys have a few bakugans, and I'm going to collect and demand a rebate. Pisses me off. This is why I HATE plastic toys. The only thing I have much patience for is legos (made in Europe under heavier guidelines and requirements).

Quoting JenE4:

I got my son that Bakugan Draganoid--the worst one. What does this mean? Is it dangerous just to touch--or only if he'd be gnawing on it? What problems might it cause? I wish this article gave a little bit more information rather than just causing a generalized panic.


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