MASSPIRG’s annual “Trouble in Toyland” report released

(U.S.PIRG)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Some toys on your children’s wish list this holiday season could be dangerous, one advocacy group says.

MASSPIRG released their 32nd annual Trouble in Toyland report Tuesday at the Downtown Springfield YMCA.

The report reveals that there are still toxic chemicals like lead in some children’s toys, which can have serious impacts on a child’s development. The report also exposes inadequately-labeled toys and balloons that pose choking hazards and data-collecting toys that could violate children’s privacy.

According to a MASSPIRG news release, key findings from the report include:

Lead: We found two fidget spinners from Target which had dangerously high levels of lead, well over the federal legal limit of 100 parts per million (ppm) for lead in children’s products. We tested for lead at a lab which is accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Fidget Wild Premium Spinner Brass which we purchased at Target and is distributed by Bulls i Toy, L.L.C.: the center circle tested for 33,000 ppm of lead, which is more than 300 times the legal limit for lead in children’s products.

Small Parts: Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under the age of three, we found several toys that contain small parts, but do not have any warning label at all. These included a peg game, golf, and football travel games that we found at Dollar Tree.

Balloons are easily inhaled in attempts to inflate them and can become stuck in children’s throats. Balloons are responsible for more choking deaths among children than any other toy or children’s product. We found five balloon sets on store shelves from Dollar Tree (H2O Blasters – Water Balloons and Disney Princess Punchball Balloons), Party City (Mega Value Pack 12 Water Bomb Packs and Mega Value Pack 14 Latex Punch Balloons), and Dollar City Plus (Party Balloons – 10) that are either marketed to children under eight or have misleading warning labels that make it appear that they are safe for children between ages three and eight.

Data-Collecting Toys: As toymakers produce more and more products that are part of the “Internet of Things,” data collection and the sharing of consumer information become greater concerns. For example, we list a doll, “My Friend Cayla,” which we found at Wal-Mart and Kohl’s, which has been banned in Germany for privacy violations and is the subject of a complaint by several consumer groups to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission because it may violate the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. In July, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) issued a warning to consumers to “consider cybersecurity prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into their homes.”