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Buys and Dolls

By Margaret Lyons in News on Jan 22, 2008 6:15PM

2008_1_22.doll.jpgEveryone knows Bratz dolls cause cancer of the AIDS. But Jammin' Jenna dolls, a slightly softer-seeming knock-off from Ty, are also poisonous. Her vinyl shoes contain an amount of lead that's illegal in Illinois, but Ty refuses to recall the toys, saying they'll stop selling new dolls to Illinois distributors but won't pull the dolls already on shelves.

We guess we're not that surprised by a business wanting to sell its (dangerous) wares. But the way the story went down is kind of fantastic: The person who noticed the continued sales of the toxic dolls is, according to the Trib, "the state attorney general's point person on [lead in toys.]" Lisa Madigan's deputy chief of staff Cara Smith was buying candy at the Thomspon Center when she noticed a Jammin' Jenna doll for sale. And then she saw another one for sale at Jewel. Eagle eyes, Ms. Smith!

No one from Ty would comment for the Trib's story, but

In previous interviews, Ty Inc. representatives have said the company is not violating state law because federal rules supersede it. While the state bans vinyl toys that exceed the 600 parts per million limit, federal law does not.

What's a concerned consumer to do? Er, don't bother testing toys yourself. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, at-home lead-testing kits are unreliable.