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Trouble in Toyland

Unsafe Toys Identified


in New York Stores
November-December 2009

www.nypirg.org
Potential Toy Hazards Identified in November-December 2009
in Stores in New York
The toys that follow are included in NYPIRG’s 2009 Trouble in Toyland Report and were found by NYPIRG
surveyors in stores across New York in November-December 2009. More information about these unsafe
toys can be found at www.toysafety.net.

Potential Hazard Category: Choking/May violate ban on small balls in toys intended
for children under 3.
Toy Name: Creative Wood Stacking Rings
Manufacturer: Zaidy products
Item # or SKU: 734
Potential Hazard Description: Ball on top is smaller than 1.75” in diameter in viola-
tion of theban on such toys for children under three. The product has two labels, one
that says “18mos and up” and another contradictory statutory small parts
warning, that states it is only intended for children older than 3. Has play value for a
child under three.

Found at Target-Brooklyn, Flushing, Queens, Long Island

Potential Hazard Category: Choking/Near Small Parts


Toy Name: Fur Real Baby Bird
Manufacturer: Hasbro
Item # or SKU: C-022G
Potential Hazard Description: Baby bottle barely passes the small parts test.
Toy is labeled “Ages 4+”. No choke hazard warning; CSPA does not require a
statutory warning because the toys do not fit entirely in the choke test cylinder.

Found at K-Mart-Buffalo; Target-Albany, Elmhurst, Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, Syra-


cuse, Long Island, White Plains; Toys R Us-Douglaston, Queens, Long Island, Manhat-
tan: Walmart-Long Island, Syracuse

Potential Hazard Category: Choking/Near Small Parts


Toy Name: My First BABY Learn by BABY Born
Manufacturer: Zapf Creation
Item # or SKU: Reg # PA-5189
Potential Hazard Description: Spoon is slightly longer than choke tube. La-
beled “3+ years”; CSPA does not require a statutory warning because the toys
do not fit in the choke test cylinder.

Found at Cookies Kids-Brooklyn; K-Mart-Buffalo; Target–Brooklyn, Syracuse; Toys R


Us-Buffalo, Douglaston and Flushing, Queens, Staten Island, Long Island, White Plains
Potential Hazard Category: Choking/Near Small Parts
Toy Name: Pizza Planet Gift Pak--Disney Toy Story
Manufacturer: Mattel
Item # or SKU: P9239
Potential Hazard Description: “Woody” figurine barely passes small parts
test. Toy is labeled “3+”. No choke hazard warning; CSPA does not require a
statutory warning because the toys do not fit entirely in the choke test cylinder.

Found at Target-Amherst, Bronx, Brooklyn, Elmhurst, Queens, Syracuse, White Plains

Potential Hazard Category: Excessively loud toys


Toy Name: Kota and Pals Stompers Tricerotops
Manufacturer: : Playskool
Item # or SKU: Reg # PA-282
Maximum Decibel Measurement: 90dB (25 cm), 90 dB (10
cm), 90 dB (1 cm)
Potential Hazard Description: Should not exceed 85 dB when measured at
25 cm. Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 dB can cause hearing loss.

Found at K-Mart-Buffalo, Manhattan; Sears-Syracuse; Toys R Us-Albany, Buffalo, Doug-


laston and Flushing, Queens, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, White Plains, Yonkers;
Target-Brooklyn, Long Island, Syracuse; Walmart–Long Island, Syracuse

Potential Hazard Category: Excessively loud toys


Toy Name: Laugh &Learn Learning Phone
Manufacturer: Fisher Price
Item # or SKU: C6324
Maximum Decibel Measurement: 82 dB (25 cm), 85 dB (10 cm), 90 dB (1 cm)
Potential Hazard Description: Should not exceed 65 dB when measured at 25 cm be-
cause this is a toy intended for use “close to ear.”

Found at Babies R Us-Buffalo; K-Mart-Manhattan; Sears-Syracuse; Target-Amherst; Toys


R Us-Albany, Amherst, Douglaston, Queens, Long Island, Manhattan, Staten Island, Syra-
cuse, Yonkers

Potential Hazard Category: Excessively loud toys


Toy Name: Secret Saturdays Cryptid Claw
Manufacturer: Mattel
Item # or SKU: P4553
Maximum Decibel Measurement: 88 dB (25 cm), 90 dB (10 cm), 90 dB (1 cm)

Potential Hazard Description: Should not exceed 85 dB when


measured at 25 cm. Prolonged exposure to noise above 85 dB can cause hearing loss.
Found at Target-Amherst; Toys R Us-Buffalo, Douglaston, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Is-
land, White Plains; Walmart-Amherst, White Plains, Westchester
Potential Hazard Category: Excessively loud toys
Toy Name: Bright Lights Phone
Manufacturer: Vtech
Item # or SKU: 80-056050
Maximum Decibel Measurement: 86 dB (25 cm), 88 dB (10 cm), 89 dB (1 cm)
Potential Hazard Description: Should not exceed 65 dB when measured at 25
cm because this is a toy intended for use “close to ear.”

Found at Cookies Kids-Brooklyn; K-Mart-Buffalo; Nams Discount General Merchandise


-Bronx; Toys R Us-Albany, Buffalo, Douglaston, Queens, Manhattan, Staten Island,
White Plains, Yonkers

Potential Hazard Category: Contains lead


Toy Name: Alligator Cell Phone charm
Manufacturer: Claire’s
Item # or SKU: SKU: 2556-1 09-17 147
Potential Hazard Description: PIRG testing found that the metal charm contained
lead at levels of 710,000 mg/kg (or 71% lead by weight). Please see the toxic chemicals
key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Claire’s Boutique-Buffalo

Potential Hazard Category: Contains potentially toxic chemicals


Toy Name: Pretty Princess Puppy Purse
Manufacturer: Claire’s Boutiques
Item # or SKU: SKU: 36699-7
Potential Hazard Description: Laboratory tests found bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate
at an estimated concentration of 54000 parts per million (5.4%). Please see the toxic
chemicals key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Claire’s Boutique-Buffalo


The toys that follow are included in the database of potentially toxic toys maintained by the Ecology Center
at Healthystuff.org and and were found by NYPIRG surveyors in stores across New York in November-
December 2009.

In 2009, HealthyStuff.org tested over 700 toys and children's products. The test data represents the largest
publicly available database of toxic chemicals in toys. Currently, the U.S. government and U.S. toy manufac-
turers are not providing this data to consumers. The testing is not necessarily representative of all of the toys
on the market. In addition, the presence of a chemical in a product does not necessarily mean there is expo-
sure. The sampling was conducted by the Ecology Center and their non-profit citizen advocacy and environ-
mental health partner organizations.

Go to www.healthystuff.org for more information about the hazards posed by these toys.

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: All-Star Bicycle Bell
Manufacturer: Barbie/Bell Sports
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high levels
of mercury and low levels of arsenic. Please see the toxic chemicals key at the end of
this report for more information.

Found at Target-Long Island; Toys R Us-Buffalo, Douglaston, Queens, Long Island,


Manhattan, White Plains, Westchester
Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: Bigtime Muscle '70 Plymouth Hemi Cuda
Manufacturer: Jada Toys, Inc.
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found
high levels of cadmium and medium levels of chlorine. Please see the toxic
chemicals key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Nams Discount General Merchandise-Bronx; Target-Long Island; Walmart-


Long Island
Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: Replay Football -Green
Manufacturer: Wison.
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product
found high levels of lead and low levels of bromine. Please see the toxic
chemicals key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Nams Discount General Merchandise-Bronx; Target-Brooklyn; Toys R Us-


Yonkers
Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway--Gordon
Manufacturer: Learning Curve
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high
levels of bromine, medium levels of lead and low levels of arsenic. Please see the
toxic chemicals key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at K-Mart-Manhattan; Sears-Syracuse; Target-Brooklyn, Queens; Toys R Us-


Buffalo, Flushing, Queens, Manhattan, Yonkers; Very Good Things-Manhattan; Walmart
-Syracuse
Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: Conrad "Duke" Hauser
Manufacturer: GI Joe Tough Troopers
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found me-
dium levels of chlorine and low levels of bromine. Please see the toxic chemicals
key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Target-Brooklyn; Walmart-Syracuse

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: Learn and Groove Musical Table
Manufacturer: Leap Frog
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high
levels of bromine and low levels of lead and arsenic. Please see the toxic chemi-
cals key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Babies R Us-Manhattan; Walmart-Long Island; Toys R Us-Manhattan,


Yonkers, Long Island
Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: Princess Chikz Jewlery
Manufacturer: Princess Chikz
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high levels of
lead and low levels of bromine and arsenic. Please see the toxic chemicals key at the end
of this report for more information.

Found at Dollar Tree-Bronx, Nanuet, Syracuse


Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: Pull Back Chrome Mororbike
Manufacturer: Turbo Wheels
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found me-
dium levels of lead and low levels of bromine. Please see the toxic chemicals key
at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Dollar Tree-Bronx, Nanuet, Syracuse

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: Marvel Hot Rodz
Manufacturer: Marvel Heroes
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high levels
of lead and low levels of bromine. Please see the toxic chemicals key at the end of this
report for more information.

Found at Dollar Tree-Bronx, Nanuet, Syracuse

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: MLB Padres Glove & Ball Set
Manufacturer: Franklin Sports Inc.
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high levels
of lead and medium levels of chlorine. Please see the toxic chemicals key at the end of
this report for more information.

Found at K-Mart-Buffalo

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: Disney Princess sandles
Manufacturer: Disney Princess
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high lev-
els of bromine and medium levels of chlorine. Please see the toxic chemicals key at
the end of this report for more information.

Found at Walmart-Long Island


Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals
Toy Name: ICarly bag -pink
Manufacturer: ICarly Nickelodeon
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high
levels of cadmium and medium levels of chlorine. Please see the toxic chemicals
key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at Sears-Long Island; Toys R Us-Long Island

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: Singing & Dancing Gorilla with Guitar
Manufacturer: Dan Dee/MTY Intl Com Ltd.
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high lev-
els of lead and arsenic and low levels of bromine and chlorine. Please see the toxic
chemicals key at the end of this report for more information.

Found at SJS Pharmacy-Bronx

Potential Hazard Category: Contains Potentially Toxic Chemicals


Toy Name: Love to Play Puppy
Manufacturer: Fisher Price
Potential Hazard Description: 2009 laboratory tests of this product found high lev-
els of bromine and low levels of mercury. Please see the toxic chemicals key at the
end of this report for more information.

Found at Babies R Us-Manhattan; Toys R Us-Manhattan


KEY TO TOXIC CHEMICALS
While there are a number of chemicals of concern that have been found in common consumer products,
HealthyStuff.org focused on a subset of chemicals that could be detected by the XRF technology: lead,
cadmium, chlorine, arsenic, bromine and mercury. HealthyStuff.org also contains information on con-
sumer products that contain chromium, tin, and antimony. Each of these chemicals also represents poten-
tial exposure to workers or communities during the manufacture of products containing them, and poten-
tially to communities where the products are disposed. The information below is based on references and
citations that can be found at HealthyStuff.org.

Lead is a heavy metal that continues to be used in a wide variety of consumer products. Lead is often
used as a stabilizer in PVC products and for pigmentation in paint, rubber, plastics, and ceramics ). Lead's
chemical properties also make it easy to use in castings of metal products such as jewelry.

 Scientists have found there is no safe level of lead for children -even the smallest amount affects a
child's ability to learn . Children are more vulnerable than adults to lead.

 Lead impacts brain development, causing learning and developmental problems including decreased
IQ scores, shorter attention spans, and delayed learning.

 When children are exposed to lead, the developmental and nervous system consequences are irreversi-
ble. Nationwide, 310,000 children already have lead levels of concern.

 In addition to neurological damage, excessive amounts of lead can lead to muscle weakness, anemia,
and kidney damage. While no conclusive proof that lead is a human carcinogen exists, laboratory test-
ing in rats resulted in the development of kidney tumors in the animals. Additionally, the EPA has
listed lead as a probable human carcinogen.

Cadmium is a heavy metal used as a stabilizer in PVC and in coatings and pigments in plastic and
paint.

Depending on the level of exposure:

 Cadmium exposure is associated in animal studies with developmental effects, including possible de-
creases in birth weight, delayed sensory-motor development, hormonal effects, and altered behavior.

 Cadmium can cause adverse effects on the kidney, lung and intestines.

 Cadmium is classified as a known human carcinogen, associated with lung and prostate cancer.

 Exposure to cadmium can result in bone loss and increased blood pressure. Acute toxicity from inges-
tion of high levels of cadmium can result in abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and death.
Detection of chlorine in a toy component indicates the likely use of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) or vinyl, a
widely used type of plastic. PVC is of concern to the environment and public health during all phases of its
life cycle. During the production phase, workers at PVC facilities, as well as residents in surrounding areas,
may be exposed to vinyl chloride (a building block of PVC) and/or dioxin (an unwanted byproduct of PVC
production), both of which are carcinogens. At the end of a product's life, PVC can create dioxin when
burned. PVC is not easily recycled. Lead and other heavy metals are sometimes used as a stabilizer or to im-
part other properties to PVC plastic. Because PVC is an inherently brittle material, it requires additives to
make it flexible and to impart other desired properties. Another group of additives commonly found in PVC
products are phthalates.

Phthalates are used in many plastics, especially PVC products, as a softening agent to make the plastic
flexible. Depending on the level of exposure:

 Phthalates are a group of chemicals, some of which have endocrine-disrupting properties, meaning that
they can disturb normal hormonal processes, often at low levels of exposure.

 Exposure to phthalates is linked to birth defects of the genitals and altered levels of reproductive hor-
mones in baby boys. An increased breast cancer risk is also suspected. Phthalates in building products
have also been linked to asthma.

 Human testing by the federal government finds phthalates in almost all of the population, with the high-
est levels in children ages 6 to 11 years and in women. DINP (one type of phthalate) is commonly used
as an additive in children’s toys. Studies have demonstrated possible links between DINP and adverse
impacts on the reproductive system, kidneys, liver, and blood.

 In vitro maternal exposure to DEHP (one type of phthalate) has been correlated to improper brain devel-
opment in fetal rats. Exposure to DEHP can lead to the formation of cancerous tumors in the liver.

Arsenic is an element that can be present in both organic and inorganic compounds. For example, inorganic
arsenic is a naturally-occurring groundwater contaminant in some geographical regions. Organic arsenic is
present in seafood. Organic arsenic can be converted to the more toxic inorganic form when it is ingested. It
is not clear why arsenic is showing up in some children's products, though it may be used as a dye in textiles
and plastics. The XRF technology does not allow us to assess the form of arsenic detected, although it is pos-
sible that the arsenic is in children’s products in the more toxic inorganic form. Inorganic and organic forms
of arsenic have different toxicities. Very little is known about organic arsenic exposure, though animal test-
ing has suggested that acute ingestion may lead to diarrhea and chronic exposure may lead to kidney dam-
age. The effects of inorganic arsenic, which is more toxic than organic arsenic, may vary symptomatically
depending on level and route of exposure. Some of the following may apply:

 Inorganic arsenic is a known human carcinogen. There is strong evidence that it is linked to lung, skin,
and bladder cancer.

 Inorganic arsenic may also cause skin irritation, skin color changes, blood disorders, cardiovascular dis-
eases, and hormone disruption.
 Preliminary data suggest that inorganic arsenic may interfere with normal fetal development and cause
deficits in brain development and intelligence. Preliminary studies have correlated type 2 diabetes
with low-level arsenic consumption, implying that drinking low levels of arsenic may lead to type 2
diabetes.

Bromine is a component in a family of fire-retardant chemicals known as brominated flame retardants


(BFRs). The most widely used BFRs are polybrominated diphenylethers, or PBDEs.

PBDEs are persistent toxic chemicals that build up in people and wildlife and contaminate breastmilk and
umbilical cord blood. Depending on the form and level of exposure:

 Studies in laboratory animals have found that PBDEs profoundly and permanently affect the develop-
ing brain at levels close to those in today's most highly exposed women.

 PBDEs may also cause reproductive problems and birth defects.

 DecaBDE, the most widely used form of PBDE, is classified as a "possible human carcinogen" by the
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Mercury is a metallic element. Its compounds are often used in inks, adhesives, and as a catalyst in re-
actions to form polyurethanes.

 Mercury is a persistent toxic chemical that can build up in the body.

 All forms of mercury can affect the kidneys. Organic, inorganic, and metallic mercury are toxic to the
nervous system, each affecting different regions of the brain.