Poll Shows Reluctant Toy Spending In Wake Of Recalls

Polling firm Zogby International has released data that found that one in four Americans say they plan to spend less on toys this year due to massive recalls of Chinese-made toys with excessive lead levels.The poll, released Monday, Dec. 17, shows that 83 percent of the 4,103 adults polled associate China with unsafe toys, while a majority of Americans still appear to have mixed opinions on exclusively buying U.S.-made toys. The data shows that 34 percent of respondents said that they were planning on only buying U.S.-made toys this year, but the same number said they would not limit their shopping to only U.S.-made toys.

Eighty-three percent of respondents said that China is the country they associate most with unsafe toys, and 43 percent said they were concerned about products made from large manufacturers such as Disney and Mattel.

Approximately two-thirds of respondents said they had never had a toy in their home recalled, but 7 percent said it had happened at least once.

On-line news media was found to be the most trusted source for information regarding toy recalls, and nearly half of respondents said they would bring a recalled toy back to the manufacturer – an important move to make sure that the toys, classified as hazardous waste, are disposed of properly.

Locally, Democrat Jared Polis’s congressional campaign released a statement Tuesday, Dec. 18, offering to make an “X-ray fluorescence” machine available on Thursday and Friday of this week for parents to test their toys for chemicals like lead.

In other news, satirical scribe The Onion has published its own story about the recalls, titled “Chinese Authorities Execute 10 Million Recalled Toys,” which also jokingly features a picture of Mattel Barbie dolls facing a firing squad.

“Suspected lead-paint-tainted Barbie dolls face firing squads in China”

Erin Rosa was born in Spain and raised in Colorado Springs. She is a freelance writer currently living in Denver. Rosa's work has been featured in a variety of news outlets including the Huffington Post, Democracy Now!, and the Rocky Mountain Chronicle, an alternative-weekly in Northern Colorado where she worked as a columnist covering the state legislature. Rosa has received awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for her reporting on lobbying and woman's health issues. She was also tapped with a rare honorable mention award by the Newspaper Guild-CWA's David S. Barr Award in 2008--only the second such honor conferred in its nine-year history--for her investigative series covering the federal government's Supermax prison in the state. Rosa covers the labor community, corrections, immigration and government transparency matters. She can be reached at erosa@www.coloradoindependent.com.