Over 60 fake dolls imported from China containing dangerous chemicals that can increase the risk of cancer were seized by Warwickshire County Council’s Trading Standards service before reaching shop shelves.
The fake dolls, which depicted the Disney villain Maleficent, were found to contain phthalates, dangerous chemicals which are used to soften plastic.
The chemicals have been linked to damage to the reproductive system and an increased risk of cancer and asthma, especially if ingested by children.
Warwickshire County Councillor John Horner, Portfolio Holder for Community Safety said: “There is now a global marketplace for goods and services and we are increasingly finding that many small businesses import their stocks direct from suppliers outside Europe.
“Unfortunately, in many areas of the world, consumers do not get the same levels of protection UK shoppers expect and receive and products we consider dangerous are regularly manufactured and sold.
“I would strongly urge small businesses in Warwickshire that are considering importing stock from outside the EU to talk to Trading Standards who can offer help and advice.”
Warwickshire County Councillor Philip Johnson, Chair of the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee said: “Warwickshire Trading Standards will continue to work with Border Force and other agencies to stop dangerous products from reaching our shop shelves and protect the public.”
Warwickshire Trading Standards is advising consumers to always buy from reputable sources and beware of products that are significantly cheaper than their High Street prices. Trading Standards believe that these dolls are being manufactured with the emphasis on low unit costs rather than consumer safety.
Consumers can report toys and other goods they have concerns about to Warwickshire Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.