CALPIRG Targets Toys in its Annual Report

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(Sacramento, CA)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Chemicals that make plastic toys soft and squishy, noisy electronics that can cause hearing damage, even very simple balloons that when broken pose choking hazards are included in the California Public Interest Research Group’s annual report of dangerous toys. 

 Emily Clayton with CALPIRG says despite strides made in toy manufacturing and safety, problems remain. 

“Last year, the Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that more than 210-thousand people sought treatment in hospital emergency rooms for toy related injuries… Last year sixteen children died from toy-related injuries.” 

The CALPIRG report warns parents to look for such things as small parts that can become choking hazards.  The organization is also urging a nationwide ban on phthalates in toys, the chemicals that soften plastics that CALPIRG says are toxic. 

The Toy Industry Association disputes CALPIRG’s findings on phthalates.  The Association also says toy safety standards in the U-S are a model but cautions parents that they must determine whether a toy is age-appropriate.