Controversy first arose for Cepia when one of the company's lines of electronic hamster toys, named Mr. Squiggles, was suspected of contaning more than the allowed levels of the metal antimony, a chemical component of certain paints, rubbers and enamels.
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Concerns were first raised by the consumer advocacy group GoodGuide, whose x-ray fluorescence analyzer found significant levels of antimony in the product. The CPSC, which has a different method of assessing the safety of toys, utilized a chemical solubility test which the Zhu Zhu Hamster passed.
"I have been in the toy industry for more than 35 years, and being a father of children myself, I would never allow any substandard or unsafe product to hit the shelves," says Russ Hornsby, CEO of Cepia, in an interview with the BBC. "That's why we always test to not only meet but also exceed safety standards."
Though the product has passed the solubility test, the CPSC is continuing to examine the toy for safety issues due to its immense popularity.