This holiday season’s inexplicably hot toy, Zhu Zhu Pets, may be hazardous to your health. And not just because many parents stood outside in the cold for hours to get one. No, according to green ratings guide GoodGuide.com, the cuddly robot toys contain high levels of the substance antimony, which could be hazardous.
Antimony is used as a catalyst in the production of polyester, so it’s not surprising to find it in a plastic toy. GoodGuide claims that Zhu Zhu pets contain more antimony than federal guidelines allow, but toy maker Cepia LLC denies the allegations.
“All our products are subjected to several levels of rigorous safety testing conducted by our own internal teams, as well as the world’s leading independent quality assurance testing organization, and also by independent labs engaged by our retail partners,” Russ Hornsby, CEO of Cepia, said in a written statement. “The results of every test prove that our products are in compliance with all government and industry safety standards.”
Bruce Katz, a senior vice president of Cepia, told CNN: “They do not contain high levels of antimony in any way.”
“None of these tests have failed over the many months we’ve been producing this product,” Katz said.
While Zhu Zhu Pets get all the headlines, GoodGuide also rated other top holiday toys. Mattel’s Princess Tiana doll contains chlorine and tin. The Transformers Construction Devastator action figures also contain chlorine. The My First Purse set also contains antimony. Either we’re handing our children piles of toys that will kill them (possible), or the tests GoodGuide uses are radically different from standard toy industry tests.
So don’t rush to bring your Zhu Zhu Pets back to the store where you rushed to buy them quite yet. Despite the rumors, no recalls have been issued.