J.C. Penney Recall Involves More than 70,000 Lead Tainted Children’s Products

J.C. Penney is recalling more than 70,000 children’s items because they contain dangerously high levels of lead. The retailer was just one of several companies recalling dangerous toys made with lead paint yesterday, and the latest in a long line of other retailers and manufacturers to take such action this year.

In announcing the recalls, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) acting chair, Nancy Nord, said this latest round was “the direct result of the commitment that was made earlier this summer of cleaning the proverbial house.” After several highly publicized recalls of lead-tainted toys and other children’s products by Mattel, Disney, the RC2 Company and other manufacturers, both the CPSC and the toy industry had promised to crack down on toy safety. A J.C. Penney spokesperson told the Associated Press that following this summer’s rash of recalls, the retailer had hired an independent lab to perform additional tests for lead paint on its products. It was this increased testing that uncovered the defective toys involved in the J.C. Penney recall.

Among the children’s items being recalled by J.C. Penney are about 49,000 Disney Deluxe Winnie the Pooh 23-piece play sets, imported from China. The play sets were sold at J.C. Penney outlet stores and through the company’s website and catalog between August 2005 and August 2007. The recall also includes 19,000 deluxe wooden art sets sold through the J.C. Penney catalog and website between September 2005 and August 2007; and 2,400 Breyer 2006 Stirrup Ornaments, also sold through the J.C. Penney website and catalog from August 2006 through August 2007. Any of the recalled items may be returned to J.C. Penney stores for a full refund.

Another 20,300 Chinese-made toys were also recalled by several other companies yesterday. These recalls include 2,500 collectible Jeff Gordon mini-helmets, imported by Riddell Inc. The miniature helmets were sold at stores around the country and through www.nascar.com between February and October 2007. Kipp Brothers is recalling 10,000 bendable dinosaur toys sold in the Kipp Brothers’ showroom and through the company’s catalog and website between October 2006 and August 2007. And finally, CBOCS Distribution Inc. is recalling about 7,800 Princess Magnetic Travel Art Set Lap Desks that were sold at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store locations around the country between April and August 2007. Information on returning any of these recalled items to their manufacturers can be found at the CPSC website.

Parents who believe their children may have been exposed to lead paint should make arrangements with a pediatrician to have their child tested for lead poisoning. Even small amounts of lead can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, kidney damage and other problems if ingested by small children.

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