With the holiday season approaching, many toys are being inspected by consumer groups for potentially harmful manufacturing violations, including choking hazards and excessive amounts of lead. The Center for Environmental Health, for example, found nine out of one hundred toys purchased from stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, and K-Mart had illegal amounts of lead in them, reaching as high as nine hundred parts per million (the legal amount being six hundred parts per million). The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other federal regulators have come under scrutiny for their negligent enforcement of policy with major toy manufacturers, as well as for not inspecting toys carefully. The CPSC, on the other hand, has denied these claims of negligence and directed consumers to read labels on products carefully and look at the agency’s recall lists found on their website, or to get recall information instantly by signing up for their e-mail list at www.cpsc.gov.
Because it is such a lucrative time of year for toy makers, the manufacturers will be pushing products onto the shelves before they can be properly tested, resulting in many potential threats to safety. According to the CPSC, some of the most potentially harmful toys and products parents should look out for are riding toys, toys with small parts (choking hazards), toys with magnets, projectile toys, and chargers or adapters. To obtain the most comprehensive and up to date list of product recall information, view the CPSC website at www.cpsc.gov, or you can also visit www.recalls.gov.
For more information on this subject, please refer to the section on Defective and Dangerous Products.