"This is not a problem that we can shop our way out of, since manufacturers don't have to disclose their toy's ingredients on the packaging," says Mike Shriberg, Ph.D., the Ecology Center's policy director, who notes that this research is not meant to be a witch hunt aimed at blacklisting toy manufacturers. "We hope our findings will encourage parents to lobby for stronger laws to regulate the toy industry's use of chemicals and demand that manufacturers phase out putting harmful chemicals in toys."
Want to spend less time policing the toys you give your kids? Thanks to a partnership between HealthyToys.org and an organization called MomsRising.org, you can get information about which toys should be a concern via text message. Here's how it works: Text "healthytoys" and the toy name to 41411. Within minutes you'll get a text that will alert you to that specific toy's safety rating and whether it contains low, medium or high levels of chemicals.
In the meantime, here are some toys that made the naughty list this year:
- Two hearts Hannah Montana Necklace
Disney's gem heart necklace was found to contain high lead levels, and similar kid's costume jewelry was found to be five times more likely to contain high levels of lead.
- LeapFrog Leapster2 Wall-E Learn-Anywhere Superset
This video gaming system's carrying case was found to have high levels of arsenic and lead.
- Little Tikes Bath Letters & Numbers
These bath toys were found to have high levels of mercury.
- Hot Wheels Speed Racer Remote Control Mach 5
This remote control car by Mattel was found to have high levels of bromine.
- Haba Ball Track, Large Basic Set
This building blocks set has high levels of cadmium.