Controversy on Toxic Substances in Toys

Many stores in the United States still sell toys that are loaded with toxic substances. That’s the accusation of a nongovernmental organization, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG). In its report, the group’s management writes that the toys it examined showed increased concentrations of phthalate, lead, and cadmium. The director of U.S. PIRG, Sujatha Jahagirdar, advises parents to buy toys only from companies whose corporate policies forbid all use of hazardous materials. Jahagirdar also advises caution when purchasing toys online.

The American Toy Industry Association rejects the criticism. The organization states that the test methods used by U.S. PIRG do not comply with the standards of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

According to the consumer portal in Baden-Württemberg, the threshold values for toys are adhered to as much as possible in Germany. Violations of the phthalate prohibition that have been in force since 2007 occur very rarely. The Ökotest magazine, however, is more critical. Its authors state that much of what populates the shelves in stores is better suited for the garbage than it is for children. The magazine also examined the most important seal of quality that should stand for the safety and quality of children’s toys. The consumer portal of the German state of Hessen also provides a good overview.

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