Toy giants Mattel and Toys “R” Us have announced they will phase out cadmium batteries due to their toxicity and the associated health problems they can cause at the factories in China that produce them. Scores of factory workers have been sickened by cadmium, which can cause lung cancer, bone disease, and kidney failure, but cadmium batteries are still used in toys like remote-controlled cars because they’re cheaper to produce than less-toxic nickel-metal-hydride batteries. The phase-outs are part of the toy industry’s wave of reassurance in the face of last year’s epic toy recalls. Mattel said it would phase out cadmium batteries in its new products by the end of the year while Toys “R” Us said it would phase them out in products made exclusively for its stores, but didn’t say whether it would restrict them in products sold at its stores made by other companies.

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