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As holiday season approaches, unsafe toy survey released

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Hot Wheels logo

By Tom Flanigan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-994814.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – In recent years, the United States has done much to improve the safety of children's toys. But, Tom Flanigan reports, one consumer group is still finding trouble in toyland

This is a battery-powered Hot Wheels racer.

(loud motor noise)

If it sounds loud, it is. It registers 93 decibels, almost twice the safe sound threshold of 85 decibels. There are also commonly available toys that contain dangerous substances like lead and plasticizers called "phthalades." Brad Ashwell, consumer advocate with the Florida Public Interest Research Group showed off some of those toxic toys to reporters on Tuesday. Ashwell says one of the ways consumers can determine which toys may be dangerous is to visit the U.S. consumer Product Safety Commission's newly expanded web site.

"Kind of landmarking with safer-products-dot-gov' is that they have potential harms and that's what the big fight was over. A lot of people in the industry didn't want potential harms, understandably from their perspective."

Ashwell says the only other thing concerned parents can do to is to carefully examine every toy for possible hazards before they buy and hope for the best.