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Second Annual Consumer Guide to Toxic Chemicals in Toys to be Released for 2008 Holiday Shopping Season

Test results of more than 1,500 toys to be released Wednesday, December 3 in conjunction with Portland-area event

Nov 25, 2008

In response to the overwhelming demand for information about toxic chemicals in toys, the Michigan-based Ecology Center, in partnership with the Oregon Environmental Council and other groups across the United States, is releasing their second annual guide to help parents make informed decisions this holiday season. In addition to listing the toxic chemicals found in some children's toys, gives parents the ability to easily check how products rank from highest to lowest in terms of lead, cadmium and other chemicals that are associated with developmental and learning disabilities, hormone problems and cancer. The Ecology Center and allied organizations tested over 1,500 of this year's most popular toys.

Last year, the massive public attention to the issue of toxic chemicals in children's toys prompted Congress to overhaul the Consumer Products Safety Commission and restrict lead and phthalates in toys beginning in early 2009. 

"While these reforms are a step in the right direction, they do not go nearly far enough," said Dr. Renee Hackenmiller-Paradis, program director at the Oregon Environmental Council. "To protect all children, we shouldn't take any chances. That's why we are working hard in Oregon to enact state legislation that will fill critical gaps in protecting kids from environmental threats."

Oregon Event

In conjunction with the national release of the results, there will be a media event in Portland on Wednesday, Dec. 3. The Oregon Center for Environmental Health will be hosting "Get the Lead Out!" – a day of interactive education, awareness and action. The event is open and free to everyone. Adults and children are invited to participate.

WHO: Oregon Center for Environmental Health

WHEN: Wednesday, December 3, 9:00 AM until 8:00 PM

WHERE:  Oregon Center for Environmental Health, 4819 NE Fremont, Portland, OR  97213. More information is available by calling 503-233-1510

WHAT: "Get the Lead Out!" featuring;

  • free lead screening on household toys and dishware (limit four items per household)
  • a viewing of the database of safe toys
  • free blood lead testing for pregnant and nursing mothers and kids under age 6 (offered from  4:00 PM to 6:00 PM only) from Josiah Hill Clinic
  • a free lead dust screening kit for the home from the Portland Development Center
  • non-toxic toys, baby gear and household items for sale
  • low income families can sign up for free lead soil screening from Growing Gardens
  • information on Portland’s free water screening for lead from the Portland Water Bureau
  • free lead poisoning prevention classes from Community Energy Project
  • information about upcoming legislation in Oregon to make children’s toys safer

Advance access to toy rankings on an embargoed basis and interviews with experts are available upon request. B-Roll is available upon request for television news media. Contact Jeremy Graybill, communications director for more information.

About the Oregon Environmental Council
The Oregon Environmental Council safeguards what Oregonians love about Oregon – clean air and water, an unpolluted landscape and healthy food produced by local farmers. For 40 years, we've been a champion for solutions to protect the health of every Oregonian and the health of the place we call home. Our vision for Oregon includes solving global warming, protecting kids from toxins, cleaning up our rivers, building sustainable economies, and ensuring healthy food and local farms. Find out more at


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