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Toxic toys | Kids at risk | Brands | How lead kills

Sep 06, 2007 08:06 AM IST India India
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New Delhi: They are made for children by branded manufacturers and sold in well-known stores with glitzy labels promising they are safe. But a CNN IBN-Toxics Link special investigation finds that branded toys, many claiming to be non-toxic, in fact, contain dangerous amounts of lead. The Special Investigation Team began the probe by randomly buying toys from across various toy stores in Delhi. These samples were then scientifically tested for lead. The results showed that a staggering 65 per cent of the toys tested were contaminated with lead and 14 per cent of the samples were heavily contaminated. “How much lead is safe? That's been a matter of constant scrutiny WHO has been steadily reducing its safety levels. What this means is that there are no safe levels,” says Chairman, Toxics Link, Ravi Agarwal. The internationally accepted danger mark for lead in toys is 90 parts per million. But the lab tests conducted on the toys reveal lead content from 190 parts per million to 600 parts per million These contaminated toys are not only Chinese, but branded Indian toys available at leading stores across the country. “This shows that even with branded toys in big stores, you are not sure of what you are getting. Some of the toys you pick up may have high levels of lead,” says Agarwal. There's a more disturbing conclusion. Products like teethers, a segment ball and other rubber toys meant for three-month-old children were found to be the most toxic. The health implications of this finding are grim. “Our own queries have revealed that no single manufacturer has taken any license from BIS. Toys Companies are not bound by any law,” says Coordinator, Toxics Link, Abhay Kumar. Studies already suggest that prolonged exposure of lead in children can result in anything from lower IQ, learning disabilities to even kidney and liver failure in extreme cases. While toy-maker Mattel has recalled 7,000 units of toys in India, none of the toy companies can be implicated, because India has no safety standards for children's toys. To know more about this startling investigation on Lethal Toys, watch CNN-IBN special show on Thursday, September 6, 2030 hrs (IST)