Halloween Toy Recall Ensnares 440,000 Lead Tainted Toys

Galaxy Warrior action figures, Halloween teeth and Ribbit Board Games were just some of the toys recalled yesterday over concerns that they contained high levels of lead. The toy recalls issued by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encompassed more than 440,000 toys, and only served to encourage more criticism of the CPSC and its chair, Nancy Nord.

Yesterday’s toy recalls were just the latest in a long parade involving lead-tainted children’s toys. Since August, toy giant Mattel has issued 3 separate toy recalls for lead hazards and other problems. In June, the RC2 Company recalled more than 1 million lead-tainted Thomas and Friends toy trains. Children’s jewelry and character notebooks have also been recalled for the same reason. And earlier this month bookmarks, Halloween pails and children’s puppet theaters, along with toy animal figures sold at Wal-Mart have all been recalled for excessive amounts of lead. Lead can cause a wide range of health problems, including learning disabilities and brain damage, if it is ingested by small children.

The largest of the toy recalls announced yesterday involved 380,000 Galaxy Warrior action figures sold by Family Dollar stores throughout the US from January 2006 through October 2007 for $1. The Chinese made Galaxy Warrior toys are posable spaceman figures about 4½-inches tall and come with two accessories. They were sold in various colors including yellow, grey, silver, blue, green, gold, black, and red. According to the CPSC, the surface paint on the toys contains illegal levels of lead.

Tween Brands, a familiar name to anyone following recalls involving lead-tainted jewelry, is recalling about 3,000 Decorative Packaging Pearl-like Bead Attachments sold with Girl’s Gift Sets. The recalled decorative packaging was sold through Limited Too retail stores nationwide, as well as the Limited Too catalog and Web site from April 2007 through September 2007 for between $11 and $13. According to the CPSC, the recalled items consist of a pearl-like pink bead attachment on the outside packaging of the gift sets and a zipper pull/wrist band on a cosmetic lip gloss set. The gift sets were sold under the “Sparkle by Too” line, as follows: 3-Pack Lip Gloss Wristlet (Style No. 2014), 4-Pack Body Spray (Style No. 2017), and 3-Piece Bath Set (Style No. 2018). The surface coating on a plastic bead decorative packaging attachment contains excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

The CPSC is also recalling 16,000 Elite Operations toy sets sold at Toys ‘R’ Us nationwide from July through October, 2007 for between $10 and $30. The Elite Operations recall involves four military-style Elite Operations toys, including Super Rigs (#1004), Command Patrol Center (#1020), Barracuda Helicopter (#1023), and 3 Pack 8-inch Figures (#1024). The product number is located on the toy’s packaging. The Elite Operations toys are also being recalled for a lead paint hazard.

Also included in the latest round of recalls are 3,000 Ribbit Board Games sold through SimplyFun independent consultants from March 2007 through October 2007 for about $18.00. The games came with five frog-shaped wooden pieces that act as pawns for movement. The wooden pieces are blue, red, green, yellow and lavender in color. According to the CPSC, the game pieces contain high levels of lead.

And finally, just in time for Halloween, the CPSC recalled 43,000 sets of “Ugly Teeth” party favors sold at various retailers throughout the country from January 2007 through October 2007 for $2. The fake Halloween teeth, which children are supposed to put in their mouths, contain 100 times the permissible level of lead.

Consumers who purchased any of these products should take them away from children immediately. They should also consult the CPSC website for information on disposing of these dangerous toys.

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