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Annual 'Trouble In Toyland' Report Warns Of Toxins, Choking Hazards And 'Smart' Toys

According to ConnPIRG's "Trouble In Toyland" report, this product contains high levels of boron and lacked clear warning labels. Ingesting moderate to high doses of boron can cause nausea, vomiting and other long-term damages.

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) joined the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group and staff from the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center to announce the 2019 “Trouble in Toyland” report this week. The annual list focuses on toys that pose a danger to children -- things like choking hazards, toxins, toys that are so loud they could damage a child’s hearing and recalled toys still on the market.

This is the 34th annual report. Petra Favorite, a campus organizer for ConnPIRG, says that over the years the report has made children safer.

“By revealing these threats, the report led to more than 150 toy recalls, resulted in legislation like the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, to remove threats from store shelves, and empowered parents to take key actions to ensure toys are safe,” said Favorite.

This year’s report warned of toy jewelry that may contain toxic metals like lead and cadmium, as well as toys targeted for adults like fidget spinners.

Another growing threat is makeup. The report found that makeup lacks necessary safety standards, and one brand of makeup was found to contain asbestos.

While Blumenthal mentioned perennial dangers to children’s safety, things like balloons and toy magnets, which are choking hazards, he also warned parents about the dangers of so-called “smart toys” -- toys that connect to the internet. Often these products collect private data about children, exposing their information to hackers.

“Invasion of privacy with toys is a real and present danger,” said Blumenthal. “Think about it -- a child’s voice with statements about age, food preferences, maybe where they like to go. All of it a part of big data.”

To see this year’s list of dangerous toys, go to Connpirg.org

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series “Where Art Thou?” Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of “Morning Edition”, and later of “All Things Considered.”
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