Ill. consumer group warns about toys

November 24, 2009 This year, Illinois' Public Interest Research Group has new ways for consumers to get information about toys.

PIRG is releasing it's 24th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report. The group tested more than 100 toys since August, and they found more than a dozen with lead, other banned chemicals and choking hazards and noise hazards.

"Use this resource guide that we have put together and recognize these are toys that have not been recalled. These are toys that are still available," Attorney General Lisa Madigan also warned parents.

The PIRG director is also promoting a new interactive tool from PIRG, which is accessible by a smart phone or a computer. It can help detect what PIRG calls "hazards" in some toys.

"A toilet paper roll, it's about the same diameter, so you can make sure if it fits in here, it's something a child under 3 shouldn't be playing with," said Bill Imus, director, Illinois PIRG. "Consumers can use the site to learn more about some of the examples of toys they should be avoiding but also can direct us toys they think might be unsafe and send us pictures."

Elizabeth Geldhof runs a local day care, which she says provides all green and non-toxic, organic toys. She admitted finding the toys can be more difficult and more expensive but said she believes it's worth the time and the cost.

"You might spend $10 more on a toy, but it's worth it for a baby because they are not going to get sick from it," said Geldhof, Little Green Tree House.

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