Plastic toys such as figurines, dolls and Lego pose health risks to children, experts have warned, the Daily Mail reports.
The study found that most of them contain dangerous levels of toxic chemicals that can stunt child growth and have been linked to cancer and infertility.
Researchers from Sweden examined the levels of two harmful toxins in more than 150 old and new toys.
While about three out of ten new toys exceeded the EU and U.K. standards, more than 80 percent of the older toys did not.
Some of the old toys had concentrations of “everlasting chemicals,” which can take years to decompose in the body, up to 400 times the standard.
Experts from the University of Gothenburg tested 157 different toys, including balls, dolls, figurines and items for dressing, for the presence of phthalates or chlorinated paraffins.
The former are a group of chemicals used to make plastics stronger, often called plasticizers. The latter are used to make toys nonflammable and are considered toxic to humans.
Phthalates have been linked to an increased risk of asthma, breast cancer, obesity, diabetes, low IQ, developmental and fertility problems.
Once in the body, these tough chemicals are thought to interfere with our internal systems and disrupt our DNA, which can lead to cancer.
Under EU and UK law, manufacturers cannot use phthalates in concentrations greater than 0.1% of a toy’s total weight.
The limit for short-chain chlorinated paraffins is 0.15%.
However, the study found that 30% of new toys contain levels in excess of these levels.