Hand-me-down toys could pose serious health risks for kids, study says


Do you accept second-hand toys? Beware, because they could pose serious health risks for children, according to a new report. 

Researchers from the University of Plymouth recently conducted an experiment, published in Environmental Science and Technology, to determine the dangers of passed-down toys. 

>> Toys 'R' Us to close up to 182 stores nationwide; see the full list

To do so, they used X-ray fluorescence technology to examine 200 plastic toys, such as cars, trains, figures and puzzles, which were found in nurseries, thrift shops and homes across England. They were inspecting the items for nine hazardous elements, including antimony, barium, bromine, cadmium, chromium, lead and selenium.

After analyzing the results, they found that 20 toys had traces of all nine elements, which can be chronically toxic if children are exposed to them at low levels. If the kids put the products in their mouths, they can be introduced to the toxins faster.

>> Consumer safety group W.A.T.C.H. unveils 'most dangerous' toys list

"Consumers should be made more aware of the potential risks associated with small, mouthable and brightly coloured old plastic toys or components,” coauthor Andrew Turner told BBC. "Without that, the attractive cost, convenience and recyclability of previously used toys has the potential to create a legacy of chemical contamination for younger children."

Furthermore, a few of the toys didn’t comply with standards set by the European Council's Toy Safety Directive. In fact, red, yellow or black plastics were the worst, because they had too much too much bromine, cadmium or lead.

>> Read more trending news 

While scientists said second-hand toys “are an attractive option,” parents should use with caution. They also believe risky toys should be taken off the market altogether. 


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Nation & World

Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry wed (live updates)
Royal Wedding: Meghan Markle, Prince Harry wed (live updates)

Actress Meghan Markle and Britain’s Prince Harry got married Saturday in a highly anticipated, star-studded ceremony in St. George’s Chapel at England’s Windsor Castle.  Update 6:21 a.m. EDT Sunday: The British royal family took to Twitter late Saturday to congratulate Prince Harry and Meghan Markle and thank their guests...
'Royal wedding guest name' quiz could help scammers get your personal data
'Royal wedding guest name' quiz could help scammers get your personal data

A seemingly innocent quiz that has been sweeping social media could help scammers get their hands on your personal data, experts say. "What's your royal wedding guest name?" the meme, which began circulating ahead of Saturday's royal wedding, asks. One version reads as follows: "In honor of the royal wedding, use your 'royal wedding...
2 inmates escape Ohio prison, still at large, deputies say
2 inmates escape Ohio prison, still at large, deputies say

Law enforcement is asking for the public’s help to find two Ohio prisoners who escaped Saturday night from the Community Correctional Center in Turtlecreek Township. Deputies from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office responded around 8:30 p.m. to the area of 5234 State Route 63, the CCC, for a report of two men running through a...
Barber throws man who complained about haircut through window
Barber throws man who complained about haircut through window

A man got more than his hair cut, when an argument with the barber over the style led to the man getting thrown through a glass window, police said.  The 33-year old victim was not satisfied with his haircut Thursday and threatened not to pay, according to the New York Daily News. In response, the barber at Levels Barbershop, in Brooklyn...
Dog dies after being left in hot car
Dog dies after being left in hot car

A man is facing animal cruelty charges after he reportedly left a dog in a hot car.  The dog later died despite efforts to rescue him. Anthony Griffith is charged with animal cruelty after the dog was left in a car at Southeast Georgia Health System in St. Marys.  The dog fell to the pavement when an officer arrived and opened the car door...
More Stories