TexPIRG Warns Magnets Among Fastest-Growing Toy Safety Problems

A magnetic toy designed to form shapes. [Wikipedia/Coyau]
The Texas Public Interest Research Group, or TexPIRG, has released its annual guide to unsafe toys, just in time for the holiday shopping season.

TexPIRG’s annual “Trouble in Toyland” report finds that toxic chemicals and choking hazards remain among the most persistent problems in toy safety. Program associate Thomas Visco describes some of the toys the group tested.

“There was a Fisher Price outdoor barbecue set that had some toys that were very, very tiny and easy to choke on. And a Marvel Superhero shield had dangerous levels of lead and phthalates and cadmium.”

Visco says one of the fastest-growing problems in recent years is that of magnets.

“Between 2009 and 2011 alone, there were 1,700 emergency room cases nationwide involving the ingestion of magnets. Seventy percent of those were children between the ages of 4 and 12. So this is a new problem that we are just now looking at that is emerging.”

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group, of which TexPIRG is a member, offers a list of a recalled toys and toy safety tips that shoppers can access via smartphone

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Andrew Schneider

Business Reporter

Andrew Schneider joined KUHF in January 2011, after more than a decade as a print reporter for The Kiplinger Letter...