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Written on 6th December 2016 by Laura Magson

A retailer in Warrington has recently been fined £5,000 by the Trading Standards Office for selling imported dolls which contained phthalate, a carcinogenic material.

The retailer was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £500 and £955 in Court costs.

Boyes Turner previously published a story regarding toys being sold in the UK on ebay from a Chinese importer that contained asbestos which can be read here.

In respect of the dolls sold in Warrington, Pete Astley, Assistant Director for Regulation and Protection at Warrington Borough Council, stated:

“I would urge anyone buying toys to carefully look at the label to ensure the CE, manufacturers and importers name and address is present. Some toys also carry The Lion Mark of the British Toy and Hobby Association … … Consumers can be assured that a toy which bears the Lion Mark has been manufactured by a BTHA member who believes in making good quality safe toys”.

Councillor Judith Guthrie, who is an executive board member for public protection added:

“Protecting the public for the sale of unsafe consumer goods, especially toys, in the run in to Christmas is a key priority for our trading standards team … … This result shows that any retailer or importer who sells unsafe toys will face stringent penalties in the courts.”

Our advice

We are aware that the toys market will see a massive increase in sales over the Christmas period as people rush out to buy gifts for their young loved ones.  Our advice is to always buy from reputable toy shops where possible.

As can be seen from our previous article, asbestos containing toys are sold on line within the UK.  If asbestos is inhaled it can prove to be fatal in years to come with conditions such as mesothelioma and asbestos induced lung cancer often being suffered.

If you are keen to find a bargain on line or simply prefer shopping on line to avoid the mad Christmas rush then do your research on the toy being sold to ensure it is safe for your child.

As per Pete Astley’s advice, check the product carries bears the Lion Mark as this is a good indication of the safety of the toy.

If the toy does not carry the Lion Mark either avoid it, or carry out other investigations to check the safety of the toy.

Other products for sale

Our advice extends to all products being sold, not just toys, either at Christmas or at any other time.  We want you to have a merry Christmas with all gifts under your tree being safe for use.

If you are in doubt about any item offered for sale or a gift you have already purchased, contact the trading standards office for further advice.