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Zhu Zhu Pet Mr. Squiggles Under The Microscope For Hazards

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, December 07, 2009 11:23 AM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family
Tags: Antimony, Good Guide, Toxic Toys, Zhu Zhu

Zhu Zhu pet hampster toy has unacceptable levels of the metal acrimony accordign to consumer group GoodGuide.

Top Selling Toy Low Rating

*Please Note* - This story has been updated on InjuryBoard News,
See: http://tinyurl.com/ykb78vk    


IMAGE SOURCE: Zhu Zhu pet hamster/ Myzhuzhupetshamsters.com
Web site

What would the holiday season be without a toy recall?

Mr Squiggles, the Zhu Zhu Pets hamster, is not being recalled, but is the focus of a low rating from the for-profit consumer group, GoodGuide.

The Berkeley, California-based group says that the hot toy of the season contains contaminant levels of both tin and antimony and gives it a 5.2 on a 10-point scale for acceptability.

Antimony is a metal, with potential health hazards. While the federal standard is 60 ppm (parts per million), the group found 93 ppm in toy hamsters in fur and 106 ppm in the nose.

“If these toys aren’t even reaching the limit it isn’t worth bringing into my household,” says Dr. Dara O-Rourke, a professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley.

Toy maker, St. Louis-based Cepia LLC, says the product has passed rigorous testing.

"I have been in the toy industry for more than 35 years, and being a father of children myself, I would never allow any substandard or unsafe product to hit the shelves," Russ Hornsby, Cepia's CEO, said in the statement reported by AP.

GoodGuide used a NITON XL3t series x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, which finds the levels of elements on a toy’s surface. It measures the total contaminants on the surface of the toy.

“We did not test these toys using the new government standard for toy companies to determine the ‘soluble’ level of contaminants in a toy” the group says on its Web site. The U.S. standard is for soluble antimony in paints and surface coatings and must be completed by a digestive laboratory method.

One blogger calls is a publicity grab by GoodGuide, while a competing environmental group, Center for Environmental Health, says more testing is needed.

Antimony is measured at one percent of the level known to be dangerous, so even if the contamination level is double the federal limit, which the company disputes, its two percent is too low to cause a problem, says CBS News in its morning show.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission will review the product.

The Good Guide is a for-profit group whose mission is to assess the health, environmental, and social impacts of products and companies.

A UC Berkeley research project led to the GoodGuide, which says it strives to shift the balance of information and power into the marketplace and helps consumers shop to avoid chemicals in baby shampoo, lead and mercury in kid products, and clothing produced in a sweatshop.

It’s latest product is an iPhone App that scans bar codes on products and tells users about any environmental hazards and about its social responsibility rating of both the product and its company. #


Posted by Center for Environmental Health
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 4:15 PM EST

Take a look at the Center for Environmental Health's own blog post on Mr. Squiggles: LINK

Posted by Center for Environmental Health
Wednesday, December 09, 2009 4:15 PM EST

Take a look at the Center for Environmental Health's own blog post on Mr. Squiggles: LINK

Posted by Jane Akre
Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:46 PM EST

Absolutely -

We've done an update on the ongoing story on InjuryBoard:

Comments for this article are closed.

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