Poisonous chemical found in toy dolls linked to cancer

A new warning has been issued over dolls containing a poisonous chemical which can cause cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men on sale in shops in the Midlands.

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Trading Standards on the hunt for dangerous dolls in Walsall

Trading Standards on the hunt for dangerous dolls in Walsall Credit: ITV News Central

Trading standards officers will be at Bescot Market in Walsall today hunting for dolls on sale, which contain chemicals linked to cancer, birth defects and infertility in men.

Officers first received complaints about these products early in 2013 and visited traders to ensure they were taken off sale. But they now fear that they were available to buy at the market last weekend.

The dolls have distinctive fruit shaped heads but Trading Standards Officers are also concerned about similar soft dolls wearing animal outfits or in a "crawling" pose wearing polka dot dresses.

Council calls for action over potentially dangerous dolls

Walsall Council are calling for action to be taken over the potentially dangerous ‘fruit headed’ dolls which have been on sale in the Midlands.

A cabinet member said the council would be writing to to the EU and to the Chinese Government.

As we have said, we don’t want to spoil any child’s happiness which is why their safety is paramount to us.

Young children tend to bite and chew and if they do so with these dolls their health could be put at risk.

We have acted on reports that the ‘fruit headed’ dolls are potentially dangerous and have followed up reports that they are on sale to ensure they have been taken off sale.

We would now like to go a step further and will be writing to the EU and to the Chinese Government to express our wish for action to be taken to ensure this product is not put on sale again.

– Cllr Zahid Ali, Walsall Council cabinet member for public health and protection

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Poisonous dolls: similar style toys on sale online

Similar style dolls being sold today through auction site eBay Credit: Ebay

ITV News Central has seen some similar dolls to those being recalled by Trading Standards being sold online.

eBay says it follows local government legislation and does not permit the sale of ' illegal items.'

A screen shot taken on December 30 showing a doll up for sale on Amazon.co.uk. It now no longer exists. Credit: Amazon.co.uk

Yesterday it appeared similar looking dolls were being offered for sale through Amazon.

But Amazon say they are not available through them.

A web page we saw on the morning of December 30 has since been taken down.

Doctor says children should not play with suspect dolls

Dr Ian Campbell, a GP in Nottingham, says that parents should take toys off children if they fear they could be the ones containing potentially poisonous plastics.

Trading Standards are warning about health risks about certain types of toy which have reportedly been on sale all over the country.

Doctor: Poisonous chemical in dolls is 'unacceptable'

A GP from Nottingham has said it is "unacceptable" that a poisonous chemical has been found in toy dolls on sale in shops in the Midlands.

Dr Ian Campbell said: "I'm very concerned because there is no safe level of this chemical and we know that it causes problems with cancer, problems with sperm count with adult males and problems with the liver and kidneys.

"It's is unacceptable that children have been exposed to this chemical in this way."

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Concerns over 'potentially lethal' poisonous dolls

One of the potentially lethal dolls seized by Trading Standards Credit: Sandwell Council

The following article was first published on our website more than 11 months ago and is being widely shared at the moment.

If you think you have bought one of these dolls, or seen them on sale, contact our newsdesk centralnews@itv.com with a contact name and number and say where you you bought it or saw them on sale.

Dolls containing a poisonous chemical which can cause cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men have been found on sale in shops in the West Midlands.

Sandwell Trading Standards has received six complaints about the dolls which are imported from China. One complaint was from a mother who said her child became ill after playing with one of the dolls.

There are several designs of dolls affected, such as crawling dolls with a polka dot dress, baby dolls with a picture of an animals head on the dress and 'fruit-head' dolls, all are subject to a Europe-wide product recall.

The potentially lethal chemical contained in the dolls is phthalates, a chemical used to soften plastics.

Most of the dolls do not have a CE marking, used to prove the toy meets European safety regulations.

Councillor Ian Jones said the dolls were "potentially lethal for children" and urges anyone who has purchased a doll to return them immediately for a refund.

More dangerous dolls found on sale in the Midlands

The 'fruit head' dolls are among those found to contain dangerous chemicals
The 'baby doll' comes in eight different outfits

Fresh warnings have been issued over dolls containing a poisonous chemical which can cause cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men found to be on sale in shops in the West Midlands.

Solihull Trading Standards says it has received a complaint from a concerned member of the public.

A teddy bear outfit can be found on one of the dolls

Earlier this month Sandwell Trading Standards ceased many of the dolls from shops and markets in the Midlands and issued warnings to people.

All of the dolls are subject to a Europe wide recall

There are several designs of affected dolls, including a crawling doll with a polka dot dress, a baby doll that comes in eight different outfits and four 'fruit-head' dolls each with a head shaped like a different type of fruit. All are subject to a Europe-wide product recall.

Many of the dolls were found on sale on markets in the Midlands before Christmas

The potentially lethal chemical contained in the dolls is DEHP, a phthalate, which is used to soften plastics.

Most of the dolls do not have a CE marking, used to prove the toy meets European safety regulations.

Many of the dolls have fake safety labels

Earlier this month Sandwell Trading Standards Manager Bob Charnley said:

"Dolls should have a CE mark on them to prove that they have been properly checked and comply with legislation.

"However, some have fake CE labelling on them. Anyone concerned should contact trading standards where the dolls can be thoroughly checked."

Concerned consumers are being advised to contact Trading Standards
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