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Toy Teeth, Pens Recalled for Lead

Apr 11, 2008 | Parker Waichman LLP

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in cooperation with two toy firms announced voluntary recalls of two children’s toys due to excessive lead paint levels.  Consumers should stop using these recalled products immediately, ensuring they are taken away from children.

The first product, Hillbilly Teeth, was imported by FUNTASTIC, of Houston, Texas and is being recalled because the gray surface paint on the teeth contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.  Approximately 26,000 of the FUNTASTIC Hillbilly Teeth toys were sold in two-pack packages with item # 2657 printed on the packaging.  The toy’s gums are brown and the teeth are yellow.  The FUNTASTIC Hillbilly Teeth were manufactured in China and sold at grocery, drug, convenience, and mass retailers nationwide from March 2005 through March 2008 for about $2.  Consumers should immediately take the recalled toy away from children and contact FUNTASTIC for information on receiving a refund at (800) 434-5207 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday or visit the company’s Web site at www.funtastictoy.com

Michaels Stores has also issued a recall for its Seasonal Writing Pens in cooperation with the CPSC.  The Flower Writers, Christmas Writers, Easter Writers, and Spooky Writers Seasonal Writing Pens were distributed by Michaels Stores Inc., of Irving, Texas and were sold individually as one of four in a series of Seasonal Writing Pens.  Each pen has decorations that include flowers and Christmas-, Easter-, and Halloween-themed ornamentation.  Approximately 310,000 of the Seasonal Writing Pens were sold exclusively at Michaels retail stores nationwide from August 2007 through March 2008.  Each Seasonal Writing Pen retailed for about $1.  The Seasonal Writing Pens were manufactured in China and the pens' surface coating contains high levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.  Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled pens immediately and return them to any Michaels store to receive a refund and can contact Michaels’ customer service at (800) 642-4235/(800) MICHAELS between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at www.michaels.com

Exposure to lead in children and unborn children 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 also known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, lead can damage the nervous system.  Last year, over six million toys were recalled because of lead; the highest number ever due to product defects; Mattel Inc. alone recalled twenty-one million toys.  Lawsuits over lead in toys include cases with Fisher-Price; Michaels Stores; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Costco Wholesale; Eveready Battery; KMart; and Marvel Entertainment for Ernie, Elmo, Big Bird, SpongeBob, and Thomas the Train products.  Potentially dangerous toys remained on store shelves several times last year and by the time last year’s holiday season hit—the busiest time of year for toy companies—the CPSC had recalled 75 brands of toys; 39 due to lead exposure.


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