The Ecology Center tested 1,268 children's products, and found lead in 35% of them, with metal jewelry representing the greatest levels.
"The government is not testing for toxic chemicals in toys, and too many manufacturers are not self-regulating, so we created the nation's first toy database to help inform and empower consumers," said Tracey Easthope, MPH, Director of the Ecology Center's Environmental Health Project. "Ultimately consumers need to compel the federal government and toy manufacturers to eliminate dangerous chemicals from toys."
The Ecology Center today launched HealthyToys.org to help inform and mobilize consumers about issues of toxic substances in toys and other children products. The centerpiece of the site is information about the results of the center's independent tests of children's products. While a record number of toys and other children's products have been recalled this year due to lead, many more remain on the shelves, according to the results.
Further, the government standard for lead content is nearly 7 times more lenient than the level recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. That said, the center cautioned that its results do not necessarily mean the toys noted pose a risk of dangerous exposure, nor are the toys tested a representative sample of the products on the market.
Here's a look at some of the results:
35% of children's products contained lead, and 17% exceeded the government standard for lead
38% of jewelery contained lead, and most of it exceeded the government standard.
Five products contained levels of lead two to 10 times the allowable limits:
In addition to lead, cadmium was found in 2.9% of the 764 products subjected to more extensive testing; arsenic was found in 2.2% and mercury in 0.7%.
47% of non-jewelery toys are made from polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, which may contain additives that are unhealthy, and is known to cause pollution during manufacture and disposal. PVC commonly includes phthalates, which have been linked to hormonal problems.
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