Potentially poisonous dolls bought this Christmas putting children at risk

Some of the dolls being recalled from shelves over poison fears Credit: ITV News Central

There are fresh health warnings about potentially dangerous dolls on sale which have been bought as Christmas presents for young children.

Experts say the dolls contain a banned chemical which is used in some countries to soften plastics and is highly dangerous if consumed.

Dolls with fruit shaped heads, like the ones above, and other more conventional looking toy babies, contain a substance called Phthalates.

Tests have shown the chemical can disrupt the activity of hormones, and exposure to it has been linked to cancer, deformities in unborn babies and infertility in men.

Councils seize dolls across the country

It first became clear the toys were unsafe when Sandwell Trading Standards released details of the dangers in January 2013.

More recently there have been seizures in Lincolnshire and also in Kent, with the dolls found on sale at markets in the run up to Christmas.

News of the dolls has been widely shared on social-networking sites, with hundreds of thousands of people logging on to the ITV News Central website to read about the potentially unsafe toys since Christmas.

It's led to hundreds of worried parents from all over the country contacting ITV News Central directly.

One of the worried parents was Carly Smith from Darlaston near Walsall. Her daughter Olivia-Leigh has had one of the potentially dangerous dolls for 15 months.

It has become a treasured toy to the four-year-old, and when Carly found out it could be unsafe, she said it came as a huge shock.

Two dolls confirmed as potentially poisonous by Walsall Council Credit: ITV News Central

ITV News Central correspondent Keith Wilkinson took the doll to Walsall Trading Standards where they confirmed it was one they are concerned about.

The council are advising people who think they may have purchased one of the affected toys to take it back to the retailer they bought it from, and are urging any shops with them on sale to take them off the shelves, or face them being seized.

The toys have reportedly been on sale at markets up and down the country, as well as in popular holiday resorts in Spain.

Health officials warn the dolls should be taken away from children

Examples of the dolls which could cause harm to children Credit: ITV News Central

Nottingham GP Dr Ian Campbell has told ITV News Central it is unlikely that normal contact with one of the dolls would be enough to cause a significant health risk, but went on to say that it should nevertheless be avoided.

He went on to say that nothing more could be done except for removing the toy from a child, as there are no possible tests to see if any harm has been caused.

Anyone with further concerns over the dolls is advised to contact their local Trading Standards department, or call Citizens Advice on 08454 040506.

For more on this story click on the following links.

Read: Dangerous dolls: What you need to know

Read: Dangerous toy dolls seized at Kent market stall

Read: Advice given to consumers over dangerous dolls