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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11(1), 47-66; doi:10.3390/ijerph110100047

Noise Producing Toys and the Efficacy of Product Standard Criteria to Protect Health and Education Outcomes

1,* , 1,†
1 College of Health, Massey University, P.O. Box 756, Wellington 6140, New Zealand 2 Measurement and Product Safety Service, Consumer Affairs, Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, P.O. Box 1473, Wellington 6140, New Zealand These authors contributed equally to this work.
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 6 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sound and Health related Quality of Life)
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An evaluation of 28 commercially available toys imported into New Zealand revealed that 21% of these toys do not meet the acoustic criteria in the ISO standard, ISO 8124-1:2009 Safety of Toys, adopted by Australia and New Zealand as AS/NZS ISO 8124.1:2010. While overall the 2010 standard provided a greater level of protection than the earlier 2002 standard, there was one high risk toy category where the 2002 standard provided greater protection. A secondary set of toys from the personal collections of children known to display atypical methods of play with toys, such as those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), was part of the evaluation. Only one of these toys cleanly passed the 2010 standard, with the remainder failing or showing a marginal-pass. As there is no tolerance level stated in the standards to account for interpretation of data and experimental error, a value of +2 dB was used. The findings of the study indicate that the current standard is inadequate in providing protection against excessive noise exposure. Amendments to the criteria have been recommended that apply to the recently adopted 2013 standard. These include the integration of the new approaches published in the recently amended European standard (EN 71) on safety of toys.
Keywords: noise; toy safety; autism; ISO standards; consumer products noise; toy safety; autism; ISO standards; consumer products
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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McLaren, S.J.; Page, W.H.; Parker, L.; Rushton, M. Noise Producing Toys and the Efficacy of Product Standard Criteria to Protect Health and Education Outcomes. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2014, 11, 47-66.

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