Washington Toys are safer than in previous years, but hazardous toys still can be found on store shelves, according to an annual report issued by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
Among the toys that PIRG, a Washington-based group, said were dangerous were erasers, jigsaw puzzles, makeup sets, balloons, plastic insects and salamanders, small plastic balls and marbles.
But toy manufacturers denounced the study as "preholiday bashing."
"Any toy used improperly can be dangerous," said Pamela Johnston, spokeswoman for Toy Manufacturers of America.
Sixteen children died playing with toys in 1999 and nine of those were from choking. The annual PIRG "Trouble in Toyland" report also noted there were 152,600 emergency room visits for toy-related injuries in 1999.
But Johnston disputed the report, saying that a person who was injured after tripping over a toy left on the floor is counted as a toy-related injury.