Counterfeiters are using Christmas to push toys that contain up to 18 times the amount of recommended chemicals, it has been found.

Children and babies who chew on plastic toys are most at risk, as when chewed, cheap or poorly treated plastics will release chemicals.

Toys that have been seized by Ports and Border Authorities as part of a counterfeit goods sweep over the last year include swimming goggles, fake ‘Frozen’ dolls, Maleficent figurines, and fancy dress items.

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The toys contain 18 times the legal number of phthalates, which have been found to be carcinogenic and can cause reproductive issues in later life. Despite this, they’re not uncommon in children’s playthings, but they’re restricted to making up just 0.1 per cent of toys.

According to the 2014-2015 Consumer Harm Report, the National Trading Standards institute has reported that  2,582,692 unsafe or non-compliant items from entering the supply chain, with a monetary value of £79,546,900, many of which were children’s toys.

A spokesperson from the NTS told the Mailonline that parents shouldn't just settle for the cheapest option they find and should be 'cautious. Make sure to buy from reputable shops, beware of products that are drastically cheaper and look at the packaging for the distributor’s details and a CE mark.’

The Independent has requested comment from the NTS.

 

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