Researchers Say 1 in 3 Toys Tested Contains Toxic Chemicals that Could be Harmful to Children

Ecology Center researchers tested over 1,500 popular toys for harmful chemicals, such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, and PVC, that could cause injuries to minors. Their findings indicate that out of every three toys, one toy usually contains at least one of these chemicals at “medium” or greater levels. The researchers hope their results will push lawmakers and manufacturers to begin phasing out these dangerous chemicals in toys.

Toys that were tested were purchased from Toys R Us, Target, Kmart, TJ Maxx, Babies R Us, Wal-Mart, and in dollar stores, drug stores, and online. The toys and children’s products selected for testing represent the products most often bought for children in the US. Tests were conducted using a handheld X-ray device for detecting chemicals.

Among the study’s findings:

• 20% of the toys tested contained lead.
• 3.5% of toys had levels of lead exceeding the federal government’s recall level for lead paint.
• Kids’ Jewelry has a greater chance of containing lead greater than 600 ppm.
• Arsenic at levels above 100 ppm was found in 22 products.
• 30 of the products tested had cadmium at levels higher than 100 ppm.

The Toy Industry Association criticized the group’s findings, calling them “misleading” to consumers. The association also maintained that the toy industry is highly regulated and continues to work hard to ensure that all toys for sale in the US exceed toy safety standards.

Toxic and Dangerous Toys
With the holiday shopping season already under way in Oregon and the rest of the United States, it is important that toy manufacturers and retailers make sure that any products they put out into the marketplace are safe for play and use. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been very busy over the past two years issuing recalls for toys and kids’ products deemed defective or dangerous because they contain too much lead, are made with small magnetic pieces that can cause choking hazards, or have another kind of hazardous defect.

Toy manufacturers can be held liable for products liability, personal injury, or wrongful death if a toy causes a child to suffer an injury, get sick, or die.

One in 3 toys is toxic, group says, CNN Money, December 3, 2008
One in Three Children’s Toys Tested by Ecology Center’s has Significant Levels of Chemicals, Including Lead, Flame Retardants, and Arsenic, Ecology Center, December 3, 2008
Related Web Resources:

Toy Industry Association

Consumer Product Safety Commission


In Oregon, Portland Personal Injury Attorney Matthew Kaplan is committed to holding anyone responsible for causing injuries to a minor liable for personal injury or wrongful death. If your son or daughter suffered injuries because of a defective or dangerous toy, contact Matthew D Kaplan, Attorney at Law today.

50 SW Pine St 3rd Floor Portland, OR 97204 Telephone: (503) 226-3844 Fax: (503) 943-6670 Email:
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