NEWARK, Nov. 20–Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to New Jersey Public Interest Research Group’s 27th annual Trouble in Toyland report, which was announced at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
This morning NJPIRG, joined by John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey, released the report. It reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for lead, cadmium and phthalates, all of which have been proven to have serious adverse health impacts on the development of young children. The survey also found small toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that threaten children’s hearing, and toy magnets that can cause serious injury.
The Trouble in Toyland report also includes a list of dangerous toys that surveyors found on toy store shelves. The list includes a dangerous magnet toy, a bowling game that is a choking hazard and a cell phone rattle that is harmful to little ears.
“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys,” said Cat Iribarne, Organizer at NJPIRG.
“As a Pediatric Emergency physician, I am well aware of emergencies involving babies, children and toys, particularly during the Christmas holiday,” said John A. Brennan, MD, MPH, President and CEO of Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Children’s Hospital of New Jersey. “I commend NJPIRG for bringing attention to this important topic and for helping all of us become aware of toys that have the potential to harm children.”
“It is important that we understand the dangers and potential hazards that are presented in some toys,” said Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer, of the 29th Legislative District where NBIMC and the CHoNJ are located. “As a legislator, we will continue to press for more information to be included on the toys that are sold here in the State of New Jersey. We will certainly reinforce and support the resolution to continue the commission’s work. It is not a Democratic or a Republican issue, this is a people issue. Our children are most important, the most vulnerable and it is our job to protect them.”
For 27 years, the NJPIRG Trouble in Toyland report has offered safety guidelines for purchasing toys for small children and provided examples of toys currently on store shelves that pose potential safety hazards. The group also provides an interactive website with tips for safe toy shopping that consumers can access on their smartphones at www.toysafety.mobi.
Key findings from the report include:
- Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. We found toys which contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead content above the 100 parts per million limit.
- Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under three, we found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards.
- We also found toys that are potentially harmful to children’s ears and exceed the noise standards recommended by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
- We discovered small powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed.
“Parents and toy givers need to remember that while the CPSC is doing a good job, no government agency tests all toys before they hit store shelves. Consumers should also remember that toys that are not on our list of examples could also pose hazards,” Iribarne concluded. “The message of today is clear. Parents have to stay vigilant. We cannot and must not accept any weakening of our consumer and public health safeguards because they protect young children, America's littlest consumers."
NJPIRG, the New Jersey Public Interest Research Group, takes on powerful interests on behalf of its members, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. www.njpirg.org
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, (NBIMC), a 673-bed regional care teaching hospital, provides comprehensive health care to its local communities and well beyond. NBIMC has more than 800 physicians, 3,200 employees and 150 volunteers with over 300,000 outpatient visits and 25,000 admissions annually. NBIMC is one of the top three in heart transplants with better than expected outcomes, has the only lung transplant program in New Jersey, and combined with Saint Barnabas Medical Center, both Barnabas Health affiliates, is third in the nation for kidney transplants, by volume. To learn more, visit us on line at www.newarkbeth.com.
Children's Hospital of New Jersey, located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and part of the Saint Barnabas Health Care System, is the state's premier hospital caring for children, with specialized services to treat ill and injured children from newborn to adolescent years and has the most comprehensive pediatric cardiac care program in the region as well as preventive programs that promote wellness in the community. For a referral to a pediatrician or pediatric specialist, please call 1-888-724-7123.
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Date: November 20, 2012
Contact: Kaylyn Kendall Dines
Public Relations Department
Newark Beth Israel Medical Center
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