Children’s Craft Beads Recalled for Lead Paint Hazard

About 1,000 Flower and Insect Painted Wooden Beads intended for children’s crafts have been recalled by S&S Worldwide due to violation of the <"">lead paint standard, the U.S. Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced.

The recalled Flower and Insect Painted Wooden Beads were manufactured in China, a country long associated with recalled children’s toys and products, consumer products, food, and medications. Many such recalls were prompted by violations of the lead paint standard. The recalled Flower and Insect Painted Wooden Children’s Craft Beads were imported by S&S Worldwide Inc., of Colchester, Connecticut because the paint on the children’s wooden beads contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard. To date, no incidents or injuries have been reported; however, it is very important to note that the effects of lead paint exposure are often not immediately recognizable.

The recalled Flower and Insect Painted Wooden Children’s Craft Beads are in the shapes of insects and flowers and were sold in assorted colors and design, measure about one-inch in size, and were sold in ½-pound bags. Model number BE1190, “S&S Worldwide Inc.,” and “Made in China” are located on the bag of beads. The recalled Flower and Insect Painted Wooden Children’s Craft Beads were sold at S&S Worldwide’s catalog and on the firm’s Web site at from March 2008 through February 2010 for about $20 per ½-pound bag.

The CPSC is advising consumers to immediately take the recalled beads away from children and contact S&S Worldwide for a full refund or replacement product. S&S Worldwide is directly contacting consumers who purchased the beads to alert them to this recall. S&S Worldwide can be reached, toll-free, at (800) 937-3482 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday, by email at, or at the firm’s Web site at

We have long been writing about the dangers of lead exposure on the general population and, most especially to children. Lead poisoning is considered the greatest environmental health threat to children under the age of six, a very serious issue given that these children face the greatest risks since their growing bodies absorb lead easier than adult bodies.

A known neurotoxin, lead exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage in children and fetuses and can also lead to behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems. Of particular concern is the developing brain because negative influences can have long-lasting effects and can continue well into puberty and beyond. Lead is known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, can damage the nervous system. In high doses, lead poisoning can cause seizure, coma, and death. Once poisoned by lead, no organ system is immune; experts agree that there is no safe level of lead.

Of concern is that items, including children’s toys, keep turning up in the market with lead levels in excess of federally mandated lead standards. In 2008, nearly 80 percent of all product recalls in the United States involved imports from China, including a wide array of toys in violation with lead paint standards.

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