Policing the Toy Shelves
Conscious consumers have been using a handheld device called the X-Ray Fluorescence (NitonXRF) Analyzer to test for levels of harmful elements in toys. With 45 million toys recalled in 2007, more in 2008, and no major government agency regulating the industry, product safety is a major issue again this holiday season.
While the XRF gun makes testing products more efficient, the information isn't conclusive and third parties are often consulted for lab testing. Despite the drastic change in consumer-product safety regulations set to take place in February, consumers and advocacy groups are still concerned. Those without access to an XRF gun can use home tester kits, bring toys to free testing at advocacy group headquarters, or find information online. No one wants to find coal, let alone lead, in their stocking this year.