Environmental group identifies Dirty Dozen of toys

One of the toys tested as part of Clean and Healthy New York's initiative to find toys with toxic heavy metals in Onondaga County.

Local environmental advocates are at odds with the toy industry association after identifying, what they deemed to be, "the dirty dozen of children's products" at stores across Onondaga County.

The environmental group Clean and Healthy New York said they found 12 products with dangerous levels of heavy metals in its test of childrens products at local businesses in and around Syracuse last month.

Lead, cadmium and mercury were amongst the heavy metals said to be present in deadly amounts in the array of tested toys. The group's claim is one the toy industry association disputes, explaining all toys sold nationwide already comply with strict safety requirements.

While this may be true, advocates with the group, like Bobbi Chase Wilding, say the standards do not go far enough.

"When you go shopping, there aren't labels on these products telling you that they contain heavy metals. I've been doing product testing for over a decade and I can't tell when I walk into a store which product is going to be safe and which is going to be harmful," Wilding said. "That's why I really think it requires a response from our government agencies."

The findings of the test include: Arsenic in jewelry and hair clips,Cobalt in a kaleidoscope, a xylophone, jewelry, a purse and toy cars, Lead in a xylophone, hair clips, jewelry and other accessories and Mercury in a xylophone.

Clean and Healthy New York's findings come at a time when the state is considering legislation to restrict the use of heavy metals in children's toys, a move advocates say is long overdue.

For the full report, click here.

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