Parents have been urged to check their children's iMC Cry Babies Nala dolls after tests found a batch contained high levels of toxic chemicals.
Smyths Toys and Very have put out an urgent product recall as tests conducted by consumer group Which? discovered the doll contains a toxic chemical banned by the EU.
The iMC Cry Babies Nala Dolls has been on sale in the UK and Ireland at a number of retailers. Smyths Toys and online retailer Very have stopped selling the popular toy after Which? revealed it contained phthalates 25 per cent over the legal limit.
Phthalates are banned for use in children’s toys by the EU at levels above 0.1 percent of its total weight.
Parents are asked to check the serial number of the doll, which can be found in the battery compartment.
If the doll has the serial number 18/10657/-36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 44, 45, 46, it should be returned to Smyths Toys or Very for a refund. No other batches of the doll are affected
A spokesperson from IMC Toys, who make the doll, said: "Children’s safety is of the utmost importance to IMC and we conduct rigorous and thorough testing of all of our products supplied globally.
"We sold 1.3 million Cry Babies in the past year and have never encountered issues with any of our dolls. We have exacting safety standards, testing to the highest levels.
"As a result of the potential non-conformity detected and the phthalates level indicated in the Which? report, we will voluntarily and purely as a precautionary measure, conduct an immediately preventive product recall of the serial number in question of the Nala dolls, held by Smyths to eradicate the possibility of a phthalates problem.
"We would like to stress that the non-conformity detected and the phthalates level indicated in the report does not offer an immediate risk for the children’s health in the normal use of the toy."
The same doll is on sale at a wide range of other online and high street retailers.
What to do if you’ve bought this doll from Smyths Toys?
A spokesperson from Smyths Toys said: ‘As a precaution, we have taken all of these dolls off our shelves and they will not be on sale in any way.
‘Customers who return any Nala dolls they have bought from us to a Smyths Toys store will receive a refund.’
What to do if you’ve bought this doll from Very?
A spokesman from Very said: "If you have an affected product please stop using this item immediately and return it to us in the normal way for a full refund.
"If this item was bought as a gift for someone, please pass the information on to them and arrange for the product to be returned to us.
"Please accept our apologies for any disappointment or inconvenience this may cause you."
What are phthalates?
Phthalates are a group of chemicals used as plasticisers to soften plastic and reduce brittleness.
They can be found in a huge number of products that contain flexible plastics, for example PVC flooring, food packaging and personal care products such as nail polish, soaps and perfumes. Evidence has shown that phthalates can leach out of products.
The EU has banned phthalates in toys in a concentration above 0.1 percent of the total plastic weight.
Why are phthalates restricted in toys?
Tests on mice have shown that repeated exposure to phthalates over time can be harmful.
Scientific studies have shown links between phthalates and toxic effects on the reproductive system, liver and thyroid, as well as developmental issues and respiratory problems such as asthma.
Children are considered to be a high-risk group because they have a tendency to put products into their mouth.