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Consumers reminded of toy hazards

Associated Press / November 25, 2009

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WASHINGTON - Holiday shoppers should look out for toy hazards such as small parts, loud sounds, soft plastics, and lead contamination, consumer advocates warned yesterday.

The dangers were highlighted by the US Public Interest Research Group in its 24th annual “Trouble in Toyland’’ report, the first since sweeping consumer safety legislation went into effect this year.

The organization focused on four hazards: small parts that can choke children younger than 3, loud toys that can cause hearing damage, lead-tainted toys, and soft plastic toys that contain chemicals called phthalates.

The group encouraged parents to use http://toysafety.mobi, a website designed for use with mobile phones, to look up toy hazards while they shop.

The Toy Industry Association responded with a statement warning parents not to be “needlessly’’ frightened by these types of reports, which “often ignore or misinterpret the facts.’’