An annual survey of toy safety warns of toxic toys that are sitting on shelves, just as the holiday shopping season is getting into full swing. Mana Rabiee reports.
Toys are among the most popular holiday gift items. But one consumer coalition is warning parents about toys NOT to put into stockings this year. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group put out its annual survey of hazardous toys - called "Trouble in Toyland". It says dangerous toxins are still found in children's toys on America's retail shelves. SOUNDBITE: STUDENT PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP POLITICAL DIRECTOR SUJATHA JAHAGIRDAR SAYING: "We found these toys everywhere. At Dollar stores, at large national chains like Walmart or online." The report says lab testing on sample toys found toxic chemicals that can pose adverse health effects on children, including lowered IQ levels. It found lead levels over the legal limit and levels of another chemical group called phthalates -- like DEHP -- that were WELL over the legal limit. SOUNDBITE: RACHEL WEINTRAUB, LEGISLATIVE DIRECTOR AND SENIOR COUNSEL, CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA, SAYING: "For example, we found a toy backpack that a shiny, thick, plastic picture which came in at 200 times the limit of DEHP." A 2008 consumer law strengthened toy safety standards but the consumer group says parents still have to wary when shopping this holiday season. SOUNDBITE: ANOTHER U.S. Public Interest Research Group SPOKESWOMAN SAYING: "Really think about the specific child that you're purchasing a gift for. If they are a younger child who puts things in their mouths, be very careful about small parts as well as potential chemicals." The report advises consumers to NOT shop at store that have not publicly stated their policy on toxins in their products, singling out stores like Walgreens. It criticized those retailers for leaving it up to the manufacturer or suppliers to ensure product safety.