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Many Common Products Contain Toxic Chemicals: Group

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Lead and toxic chemicals were found in a wide range of common household items such as women's plastic handbags, chew toys for cats, and some tennis balls for dogs, says the Michigan-based nonprofit group The Ecology Center.

The group said Wednesday that it's expanded its online database (healthystuff.org) to include 15,000 test results on more than 5,000 common products, The New York Times reported.

The database was expanded in response to increased public demand for information about the potential health risks posed by a wide range of products, said Jeff Gearhart, the center's research director.

He said the announcement about the database expansion was meant to help boost efforts in Congress to introduce tighter regulation of toxic chemicals used in many household items, The Times reported.

"Current laws that regulate individual products are stopgap measures," Gearhart said. "Ultimately we need to move to a system that doesn't regulate the end product but regulates the chemicals themselves."

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