Consumer Group Issues Holiday Safety Reminders
The Pittsford-based Empire State Consumer Project is out with its annual holiday safety reminder. Among the concerns this year are nursery furniture and toys.
President Judy Braiman says her research shows on average, across the country 112 children under age 5 die every year from nursery products, and 11 from unsafe toys such as some scooters.
"People put their babies in cribs with soft bedding, pillows, blankets, toys...crib sheets can come off of the mattress, and babies become entangled. It's really pretty bad."
Braiman says this week, the ESCP is petitioning the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to prohibit anyone selling nursery furniture and bedding for babies from advertising a product with the bedding over it or near it.
Another concern is cadmium found in modeling clay and in jewelry made in China.
"This is a big concern. There isn't an improvement. Most of these products come from China where they don't have the standards we do."
Cadmium is used in batteries, and Braiman says their testing finds it in toys, again, mainly from China.
"There are regulations, but they're voluntary. We have to be very, very careful, and we tell people just don't buy anything from China. No standards there."
Braiman tells WXXI her group has petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to set mandatory standards for such toxics.
ESCP claims it is the only consumer agency conducting chemical safety testing on artificial mulch made from ground up tires. Braiman says the product is similar to what you see in synthetic turf and is sold by the bag.
"They're selling it also for gardens. People put them in their food gardens and also use them for the play yards."
Braiman says their testing turned up levels of toxics that exceed state DEC levels for Brownfields, which are former hazardous waste sites.
Finally, laundry detergent pods are again a concern. Braiman told WXXI 10-thousand kids went to the hospital after ingesting them. She says they look a lot like candy.
"Wegmans is the only supermarket in the whole country that has done this - put warning labels where the pods are being sold, about the dangers of them, and to keep them away from children."
Braiman adds that Hagedorn’s in Webster is also posting advisory signs.
She says Walmart and Tops have so far not acted on her request.