Walgreens singled out by toy safety testing group

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Public Interest Group released its 29th annual Trouble in Toyland report Monday in a list of toys tested for their safety.

The report shines the light on potentially toxic and dangerous toys to raise awareness for parents each holiday season.

"These sheriff toy badges, sent them to the lab and found they exceeded the standard for lead that can be contained in a toy," said Jason Donofrio of the AZ PIRG Education Fund.

This year, though, in addition to pointing out troublesome toys, the U.S. PIRG also singled out one retailer, Walgreens.

In a news release, Sujatha Jahagirdar, U.S. PIRG Public Health Campaign Director is quoted as directing parents to spend their money elsewhere.

"Parents should avoid shopping at stores that have not adopted a publicly available corporate policy on toxics in their products, such as Walgreens," concluded Jahagirdar. "Without such a policy, Walgreens does not play an active role in ensuring the safety of the products it sells. Instead, Walgreens leaves it up to manufacturers and suppliers to ensure the safety of products."

3TV asked some Walgreens shoppers Monday if they will think twice now when shopping in the toy aisle at the pharmacy giant.

"Yeah, yeah, absolutely," Posy Groft said. "Especially around Christmas, it's important that people that are buying the toys know that there could be something unsafe."

A Walgreens media relations representative sent 3TV the following statement in response to PIRG's comments.

“We continue to work with the vendor and retail community to address product ingredients, and we recently initiated organizational changes that identify this as a key component of our company’s broader corporate social responsibility program.  We also are working with multiple external parties including laboratories, NGO’s and other retailers to improve the transparency of product ingredients and chemicals of concern.”

For parents just trying to stay sane this holiday season with all the wants and wishes, Arizona PIRG has some advice.

"Be careful, be vigilant and to carefully examine all toys before purchasing them," Donofrio said.