Safety inspectors fault 400 toys at Nuremberg fair
Safety inspectors said Monday they found faults in 400 toys, or about a quarter of the products they checked against European Union guidelines, during the annual Nuremberg Toy Fair in Germany.
Christine Haderthauer, minister of family affairs in the German state of Bavaria, attacked the EU guidelines as too lax, saying they permitted small amounts of dangerous substances. She called for the substances to be banned outright, dpa reported.
Safety is a key issue at the six-day fair which ends this Tuesday. The toy trade is dominated by Chinese manufacturers.
Haderthauer said Bavarian trade inspectors checked about 1,600 toys at 477 booths and found issues with a quarter of products.
In 3.5 per cent of cases, the defects were serious. But she said the ratios could not be generalized to the whole range of toys on display, because the inspectors targetted problem manufacturers.
"Obviously we know who the bad boys are and where to look," she said.
She said one of the worst cases was a kit to make gel balls. The substance contained polymer granulates which could seal up a child's stomach if swallowed, because they attach themselves like glue to the digestive tract lining.
She said children could jam their fingers in other toys, or swallow the loosely attached eyes of some cuddly soft dolls. Other items had screw-heads on them which were not rounded. Some toys with magnets without warning labels as required by law.
Organizers say the 2,700 exhibitors at the fair have 1 million toys in their catalogues.