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Thursday, December 27, 2007

CSI : Licensed properties & deadly toys

On December 19th, one week before Christmas, ADAO (Asbestos Disease Awareness Organisation) published the results of 3 independent laboratories tests, that demonstrate that one of the powders sold with the CSI "fingerprint kit" toy contains 5% asbestos, which causes cancer and can prove to be deadly.

The test method used is described in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "Test Methode EPA/600/R-93/116: Method for the determination of Asbestos in Bulk Building Materials". The powder samples were examined by Polarized Light Microscopy (PLM) and by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM), at magnifications from 100 to 50,000 times, leaving no room for errors.

Asbestos was found in the white fingerprint powder.

Immediatly, CBS (the licensor) asked Planet Toys, the NY based toy maker who claims he needs time to check before being forced to issue a "sales stop" when he should have issued a "product recall", therefore leaving all the kids who had already bougth the toy for Christmas in a deadly situation.

Why did Planet Toys Inc. issue a "stop sales" instead of a necessary "product recall" ?

On Dec 24, the toy company (Planet Toys) announced the results of their own latest tests which claimed the absence of asbestos, therefore justifying the "stop sale" instead of a more effective (but more costly) recall.

On Dec 25, I went to Toy's R Us in New York City Times Square, and they had already pulled one version of this toy... but not the more comprehensive version that also included the
fingerprint kit ! Very clever too... and deadly !

Why did Toys'R US and other shop still carried the other references of CSI toys on Christmas day ?

On Dec 27, Planet Toys claimed that their own test proved the absence of asbestos in the toys.

On Dec 28, back in France, I was able to buy the incriminated toy in a french toy shop. The "stop sale" didn't cross the atlantic, therefore leaving Planet Toys & CBS with this revenue stream untouched despite the dangers of the toy for the European kids.

On Dec 29, I emailed Planet Toys the following question, still unanswered:
"Hello, I would like to contact you to ask questions about the safety of the CSI fingerprint kit. I'm very surprised that I'm able to buy this toy in France. Who can I talk with please ? Thank you."

What may have happened ?

Chinese toy makers often reduce the quality of some series of toys raw materials in order to increase marging. It's fine that Planet Toys found some safe series of toys, but it's worrying that the Asbestos Disease Awareness Association found some series of toys with asbestos inside.
This is not the kind of lab test that can be wrong by mistake.

Questions :

Did Planet Toys make tests on each container of CSI fingerprint toys when importing them or just on a few initial samples, therefore leaving the door open for the factory to switch to asbestos to increase their profit margin ?

If you put asbestos in children toys, why not putting razor blades in your morning cereals ?
Oh! I see... there is not regulation about asbestos in toys, that's why !!


Toy maker "Planet Toys" -
Asbestos Disease Awareness Association -

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