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Safety Issues
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Thousands of lives are at risk when a company markets a defective, mass-produced product. We have helped protect the rights of individuals against negligent corporations. Cases have involved a variety of manufactured items, including a defective household appliance that resulted in electrocution, a leaking gas grill propane container that severely burned the user, and a defective towel dispenser that caused the strangulation of a child.

Toy Safety Standards

Consumer Alerts

Potential Choking Hazard Standards
Under the Child Safety Protection Act (CSPA) and Consumer Product Safety Commission rules:

  • Toys intended for children under three are banned if they contain small parts or easily break into pieces that are small parts.
  • Toys intended for children between the ages of three and six years old that contain small parts must include an explicit choke hazard warning with precise statutory language.
  • Any small ball or toy that contains a small ball must meet a stricter safety test and include an explicit choke hazard warning.
  • Marbles or toy with marbles must include an explicit choke hazard warning.
  • All balloons must include a warning about the dangers of uninflated or broken balloons to children younger than 8 years of age.

Magnetic Toy Standards
Currently, no labeling or performance standards govern magnetic toys. ASTM is considering but has not yet finalized draft standards as of November 2006.

Excessively Loud Toy Standards
In November 2003, ASTM finalized acoustics standards for toys that include the following:

  • Hand-held, table-top, floor, and crib toys: Toys in this classification should not produce continuous sound that exceeds 90 dB when measured from 25 centimeters (cm).
  • Close-to-the-ear toys: Toys in this classification should not produce continuous sound that exceeds 70 dB when measured from 25 cm.
  • All toys with impact-type impulsive sounds: Toys should not produce an impact-type peak sound in excess of 120 dB when measured from 25 cm. This requirement also applies to all recorded impulsive sounds, such as those produced by video games, regardless of what was recorded (explosion or impact).
  • All toys with explosive-type impulsive sounds except percussion caps: Toys should not produce an explosive-type peak sound in excess of 138 dB when measured from 25 cm.

Potentially Toxic Toy Standards
Toys or materials used in toys must conform to the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

  • If metal jewelry is intended for use by children and toxic lead content is accessible by a child, then it constitutes a banned hazardous substance under the law.
  • Play cosmetics—cosmetics intended for children under 14—must conform to the requirements of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act.
  • CPSC has issued a guidance to manufacturers, retailers, and distributors about children’s products containing liquid chemicals. This guidance states that manufacturers should eliminate the use of the following chemicals in children’s products: mercury, ethylene glycol, diethylene glycol, methanol, methylene chloride, petroleum distillates, toluene, xylene, and related chemicals.

Projectile Standards
ASTM established voluntary standards governing projectile toys, which are toys that children can launch into free flight. The standards state:

  • Projectiles intended to be fired from a toy should not have any sharp edges, sharp points, or small parts that would fit inside the choke tube described in the previous section.
  • Rigid projectiles fired from a toy should not have a tip radius less than .08 inches (2 millimeters).
  • Any protective tip should not become detached from the projectile when subject to standard “use and abuse” tests described in the ASTM guidelines.

Strangulation Hazard Standards

  • Cords and elastics included with or attached to toys intended for children younger than 18 months (excluding pull toys) should be less than 12 inches long. If the cords/elastics can tangle or form a loop, or both, in connection with any part of the toy, including beads or other attachments on the ends of cords/elastics, the perimeter of the loop should be less than 14 inches.
  • For pull toys intended for children under 36 months of age, cords and elastics over 12 inches long should not have beads or other attachments that could tangle to form a loop.

To access U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups' (PIRG) most recent toy safety information online, click here. For a downloadable, more complete listing of of these standards, click here (PDF file).

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Perry & Haas does not offer any guarantee of case results.
Past success in litigation does not guarantee success in any new or future lawsuit.
Our web site describes some of the cases that the attorneys of Perry & Haas have worked on in the past.

Our description of those cases is summary in nature.

You should be aware that the results obtained in each of the cases we have worked on was dependent on the particular facts of each case. The results of other cases will differ based on the different facts involved.