Consumer safety advocates from the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection are demanding there be a public warning for a doll sold this holiday season at Dollar Tree stores. According to the agency, the Fashion Doll tested positive for phthalate levels more than 200 times what can be in products sold to consumers.
According to the results of the study, the doll contained 246 times the level of phthalate allowed by law. The tests were conducted by a third-party lab hired by the New York Department of State’s Division of Consumer Protection.
Following the results of the study, the agency issued an alert calling the doll a “toxic toy.” New York State’s Secretary of State Rossana Rosado stated the doll “poses an unacceptable risk to our kids and should not be on store shelves.”
Fashion Doll is a five inch blonde haired doll wearing a pink floral dress. It is sold at Dollar Tree stores for $1.00 in the store’s toy sections. The dolls were manufactured in China and are recommended for children age 3 and older.
What are Phthalates?
Phthalate’s are a group of chemicals used in making plastic which are intended to make plastic soft. In addition to toys, phthalates are also found in vinyl flooring, detergents, food packaging, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products such as make up, nail polish, soaps, and hair care products.
According to the FDA, it’s not clear what effect phthalates have on human health. In part, this is because phthalates are not a single chemical.
There is evidence phthalates affect different groups of people in different ways. For instance, they tend to be most harmful to babies and young children and are more likely to harm male than female children. Puberty-aged kids also face a heightened risk when exposed to phthalates because of the biological changes occurring in their bodies during this phase.
The government determined that three phthalates, BBP, DBP, and DEHP, were dangerous enough to ban them from toys and products intended to assist children under three with sleeping, eating, or teething.
There is also evidence that both DBP and DEHP damage the reproductive systems of lab rats and DBP can irritate skin. BBP causes cancer in lab rats, but whether this is the case for people is “expected but not yet to be confirmed.” It also causes developmental problems in animals, but it hasn’t been shown to affect people the same way.
Another phthalate, DiDP, causes irritation in the eyes and on the skin. It can also cause nausea, dizziness, and vomiting. Yet another phthalate, DINP, caused tumors and developmental problems in lab rats and despite not knowing if this is the case for humans, California added it to its list of chemicals known to cause cancer.
Fashion Doll Contains Lead and Mechanical Hazards
Tests on the Fashion Doll were conducted at QIMA, an independent laboratory. Ten different toys were tested, which included parts from six Fashion Dolls. The doll’s head was the only among the samples to fail the phthalate test. The specific results included a positive test for lead and mechanical hazards. The phthalate found in the doll was DEHP. The federal limit for DEHP levels in a product is 0.1% but the Fashion Doll had 24.6%.
Dollar Tree has not responded to requests for a statement concerning the doll. The company’s legal team did reach out to the New York agency and was given the results of the tests.
The agency has called on both Dollar Tree and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to issue a nationwide alert for the doll, but it has yet to occur. They also encouraged consumers who purchased Fashion Doll to discard the doll or stop their children from playing with it and save it in case there be any future action taken and their purchase would be eligible for a refund.