Watch Out for Toxic Toys

If you have children, undoubtedly you showered them with toys and other presents during the recent holiday season. However, make sure the toys you gave your kids are safe for them. According to a report released late last year by the Ecology Center, one of every three toys tested in a study of 1,500 popular children's toys contained potentially harmful levels of lead, arsenic, mercury and other dangerous chemicals.

The good news is that, on February 10, 2009, a new federal law — the Consumer Product Safety Modernization Act — will set new limits on the amount of arsenic, cadmium, mercury, lead and other potentially unsafe chemicals allowed in children's products. Based on the limits in the law, and related safety standards, the Ecology Center generated a list of the year's most toxic toys, which includes toys with highest levels of lead, arsenic, cadmium, mercury or bromide. Some of the worst offenders are jewelry sets for young girls (for example, the Hannah Montana "2 Hearts and HM Graphic Necklace" contains a whopping 406,510 ppm of lead; for comparison's sake, the maximum level for lead under the new law will be 600 ppm).