Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Nine Companies Penalized for Selling Children's Products that Violated the Federal Lead Paint Ban

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced today that nine children's product manufacturers, importers and sellers have agreed to pay more than $500,000 in civil penalties for violating the federal lead paint ban.

The penalties settle allegations that the firms knowingly manufactured, imported, or sold toys and other children's articles with paint or other surface coatings that contained lead levels in violation of federal law. The settlements have been provisionally accepted by the Commission.

These products were recalled in 2007 and 2008, and include items such as toys, children's metal jewelry, children's pens, metal water bottles, pencil pouches, sunglasses and children's Halloween pails and baskets. Tests showed that paint or surface coatings on these children's products contained lead in excess of 600 ppm, or 0.06 percent, by weight. One firm's testing revealed that its products contained surface coatings with nearly 60 percent lead. In 1978, a federal ban was put in place which prohibited toys and other children's articles from having more than 0.06 percent lead (by weight) in paints or surface coatings. Lead can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health consequences.

CPSC has ordered the following firms to pay civil penalties to the federal government:

Cardinal Distributing Co. Inc., of Baltimore, Md., $100,000
Recall: #07-157

Dollar General Corp., of Goodlettsville, Tenn., $100,000
Recalls: 08-007, #08-068, #08-080

Family Dollar Stores Inc., of Matthews, N.C., $75,000
Recall: #08-051

Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., of Oklahoma City, Okla., $50,000
Recalls: #08-084, #08-229

First Learning Company Ltd., of Hong Kong, $50,000
Recalls: #08-141, #08-174

Michaels Stores Inc., of Irving, Texas, $45,000
Recall: #08-248

A&A Global Industries Inc., of Cockeysville, Md., $40,000
Recall: #07-144

Raymond Geddes & Co, of Baltimore, Md., $40,000
Recall: #08-096

Downeast Concepts Inc., of Yarmouth, Maine, $30,000
Recall: #08-231

In agreeing to settle the matters, the firms deny CPSC's allegations that they knowingly violated the law.

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