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December 2, 2009 - One-Third of U.S. Toys Still Have Toxins

Despite recent improvements, one in three toys still contains one or more harmful chemicals such as lead and cadmium, U.S. safety advocates say.

Ann Arbor, Mich., non-profit group The Ecology Center said Wednesday that while the number of toys found to contain such toxic materials has dropped 67 percent since 2007, one-third of the 669 toys it tested this holiday season still have toxins such as lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury.

Some 18 percent of the products allegedly contained detectable lead. The Ecology Center said those products included the Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit, Dora the Explorer Activity Tote and the Kids Poncho from Wal-Mart.

The group said PVC plastics were found in 42 percent of children's products.

"The toxic chemicals that we find are a fraction of the thousands of chemicals that can be present in everyday products, including those intended for children," Jeff Gearhart, the Ecology Center's lead researcher, said in a release. "We need a major overhaul of our chemicals policies immediately to start phasing out these dangerous substances."

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