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State Tests Taiwan-Made Dolls, Says They Pose No Toxic Threat

January 01, 1986|From a Times Staff Writer

SACRAMENTO — Testing of several Komfy Kid dolls has revealed no evidence of harmful chemicals and no reason to stop sales of the toys in California, Dr. Kenneth W. Kizer, director of the state Department of Health Services, said Tuesday.

The dolls tested by the department's Berkeley laboratory showed no detectable levels of five potentially harmful substances found in other mail-order dolls tested by Los Angeles County health officials several days earlier. The county officials urged consumers to return the dolls to distributors or to dispose of them.

Kizer, who said his agency had been flooded with calls from concerned parents, did not dispute the county's findings of phenol, a disinfectant, and the pesticide malathion in the dolls sampled. But he noted that the levels of these and three other chemicals were so low that they posed no health hazard.

More than 1 million of the Taiwanese-made mail-order dolls have been sold in the United States.

Some consumers have complained of a kerosene-like odor in some dolls and there have been scattered reports of illness, primarily headaches and nausea, Kizer said.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has also detected trace amounts of chemicals in the dolls but at levels not deemed to be hazardous. Airing out the dolls should eliminate any odor problems, according to the commission.

The commission and several states, including California, are conducting additional tests on the dolls.

Kizer said state tests of two other types of Taiwanese-made dolls, called Little Prince and Outer Space Orphans, did confirm that they were contaminated with toxic chemicals. However, all but 100 of 11,000 of those dolls distributed to charities in Southern California have been recovered and disposed of, Kizer said.

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