Northamptonshire parents are warned of a children’s toy made of up to seven times the legal limit for arsenic.
An investigation by Northamptonshire Trading Standards found an example Magnetic Putty - which comes with a bag containing putty and a small cube magnet - also has twice the permitted amount of lead.
Tests showed that the small cube magnet included with the item could be easily swallowed and was 29 times in excess of the magnetic force that is allowed.
The toy was bought at a market stall in Northamptonshire, where officers also recovered a teddy bear with LED lighting that posed a strangulation and choking hazard.
Councillor Andre Gonzalez De Savage, county council cabinet member for public protection and education, said: “These are two examples of toys which clearly did not meet the required level of safety which is acceptable and our Trading Standards officers have taken the appropriate action.
“This isn’t the case of the products on sale for our children being of shoddy quality but about them being a genuine safety concern."
Children swallowing two or more magnets or a magnet and a metal object have previously required major surgery as the magnets are attracted to each other and may cause lacerations of the digestive tract.
Despite including a ‘not suitable for 0-3 years warning’, the putty did not have a CE mark indicating that it complied with the essential safety requirement for toys or other required labelling, including the identity of the manufacturer or importer.
The lack of these details indicates that a proper safety assessment of the toy may not have been made and makes tracing and removal of the product from sale slower and more difficult.
Trading Standards have the following advice for shoppers:
- Make sure toys are labelled with a CE mark and the name and address of the manufacturer or importer
- If the toy is for a small child, look for small parts that might come off and represent a choking hazard
- Plug-in fairy lights should also have a CE mark and include clear instructions for use
- If possible examine lights prior to purchase for signs of shoddy or poor construction
Anyone who has concerns about a toy or electrical item they have purchased or seen on sale can contact Trading Standards by calling the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06.