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Lead Paint Poisoning
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Lead Paint Violation Prompts Recall Of Wooden Toys

Dec 31, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP

About 300 Wooden Skill Ball Toys distributed by Kendamaspot LLC, of Redmond, Washington have been recalled, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced.

The surface paint coating on the ball contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard. To date, no incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves Oozora and Shin-Fuji Kendama Japanese wooden skill toys. The toys have a ball connected by a string to a handle with three cups and spike on top. A Japanese Kendama Association sticker is affixed to the toy. The red and green balls on the Oozora and only the red balls on the Shin Fuji are included in the recall.

The recalled Wooden Skill Ball Toys were manufactured in Japan and sold at Kendamaspot’s Web site and cultural festivals in Washington State from July 2008 through April 2009 for about $20.

The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Kendamaspot to receive a free replacement ball. Kendamaspot can be reached toll-free at 1-866-903-7795 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday, or at the firm’s Web site at www.kendamaspot.com

In 1978, a federal ban was put in place that prohibited toys and other children’s articles from having more than 0.06 percent lead—by weight—in paints or surface coatings. In 2007, over six million toys were recalled because of lead; the highest number ever due to product defects. Potentially dangerous toys remained on store shelves several times during that year and by the time that year’s holiday season hit—the busiest selling time for toy companies—the CPSC had recalled 75 brands of toys. Of those, 39 recalls were implemented due to lead exposure. As a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the regulatory limit for allowable lead was reduced to 0.009 percent on August 14, 2009.

In children and fetuses, lead exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage, behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems. Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, can damage the nervous system. Once poisoned by lead, no organ system is immune. Lead poisoning is difficult to recognize because it manifests with subtle symptoms and there are no definitive indicators that point to contamination. When faced with peculiar symptoms that do not match any one particular disease, lead poisoning should be considered.


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