Fake ‘Frozen’ dolls containing dangerous chemicals seized

The seized dolls
The seized dolls

A number of fake and dangerous ‘Frozen’ dolls have been seized in the area.

Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards officers, working alongside the UK Border Force, identified the suspect Chinese imports of ‘Frozen’ dolls and seized them before they could go on sale to the public.

Tests on the fake products also revealed that they contained phthalates, chemicals harmful to children.

Phthalates are used to soften plastics. Children chewing toys containing phthalates can lead to them to ingest the chemical, exposure to which has been linked to damage to the reproductive system and an increased risk of cancer and asthma.

Warwickshire County Councillor Les Caborn, responsible for Community Safety said: “Warwickshire Trading Standards Service has been working for some time with the UK Border Force to identify both counterfeit and potentially dangerous consumer products.

“Our goal has to be to ensure that illegal consumer goods do not make their way in to the shops and in particular, to protect children.”

Warwickshire Trading Standards is advising consumers to always look for the highly distinctive Disney Logo which is present on all licensed Disney merchandise when purchasing Frozen merchandise. This logo did not appear on the counterfeit/copycat versions seized by Trading Standards Officers

Across the CenTSA (Central England Trading Standards Authorities) region Trading Standards Officers recently carried out tests for phthalates on dolls seized on import or purchased from shops and markets.

Test revealed that 20 per cent of dolls contained higher than permitted levels of these chemicals (0.1 per cent of the plastic material present). In three cases phthalates were 30 per cent higher than permitted levels and in the worst case, 51 per cent higher. Further investigations are now taking place.

Seven of the dolls also failed to meet toy safety labelling requirements.

The Trading Standards teams that purchased dolls which failed are now working to ensure that these are removed from sale.

A range of dolls costing different prices were tested. Those that failed were extremely cheap, suggesting that there is more likely to be a problem with cheap dolls manufactured with the emphasis on low unit costs rather than consumer safety.

For more information on toy safety and counterfeit goods, visit www.warwickshire.gov.uk/tradingstandards
Consumers can report toys and other goods they have concerns about to Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.