Survey finds dangerous toys on store shelves

Photo credit: U.S. PIRG

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has released its 29th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report.

The report lists dangerous toys that could pose a choking or strangulation hazard, contain toxic chemicals or be too loud. According to U.S. PIRG, these dangerous or toxic toys can be found on America’s store shelves.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. Researchers found a toy tambourine with the heavy metal chromium at over nine times the legal limit of 60 ppm and several toys that violated phthalate limits.
  • Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under the age of three, researchers found a set of foam blocks marked “2 and up” that included several blocks that were small parts.
  • Toys that are potentially harmful to children’s ears and hearing were also found. Although no toys violated current federal noise limits, the U.S. PIRG says they agree with hearing experts that those rules need to be strengthened.
  • Small, powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed were found for sale. For example, there were two brands of small powerful magnet sets that have been recalled and are therefore illegal to be sold, but they remain available online.

To view the full “Trouble in Toyland” report, click here. Parents can also find a list of unsafe toys, as well as tips for safe toy shopping this holiday season, at

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