Our ‘danger’ dolls safe, insists trader

Stan and Karen Leader at "Love Your Beads" in the Hounds Hill Centre, Blackpool.
Stan and Karen Leader at "Love Your Beads" in the Hounds Hill Centre, Blackpool.
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ENFORCEMENT officers today stuck by their decision to take ‘deadly’ dolls off the shelves after traders hit back.

Trading Standards confiscated Fruit Head Dolls from four stores across Blackpool last month when they were found to contain the chemical Phthalates.

Tests on the substance found it could cause cancer, deformities in unborn babies and even lead to death.

But one stall holder from Houndshill Shopping Centre is refusing to give out any more refunds for the dolls because he claims they are safe – and has the evidence to prove it.

Stan Leader, 66, runs the Love Your Beads stall with his wife Karen and says he has received a report from his supplier SGS, which deems their batch of fruit head dolls safe.

He said: “I’ve had to give £3,000 of refunds and I’m no longer giving them because I’m confident they comply with EU regulations.

“I fully understand where children’s toys are concerned everybody has to be safety conscious.

“When I first read the story I felt terrible and was horrified I could be partially responsible for harming someone.

“We gave Trading Standards a roasting. Somebody should’ve come to us and said we shouldn’t be selling them.”

Despite passing the supplier’s test, Blackpool Council says all of the dolls must pass their own rigorous examination before going back on sale.

Coun Gillian Campbell, cabinet member for housing and public protection, said: “In cases like this, it is much better to be safe than sorry and we simply could not afford risk endangering a child’s life.

“We would only change our advice on these toys once we are completely satisfied of their safety.

“I understand Mr Leader has found documentation stating his toys are safe, but we need to be completely sure ourselves that they meet all EU compliances.”

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