Jo-Ann Stores Pays Penalty for Lead-Tainted Robbie Duckyâ„¢ Toys

Jo-Ann Stores Inc. has agreed to pay a $50,000 civil penalty for violations of the federal <"">lead paint standards. According to the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), the settlement resolves CPSC staff allegations that Jo-Ann Stores knowingly imported and sold Robbie Ducky™ children’s products that contained lead paint in excess of the federal government’s regulatory limit from January through November 2007.

The following Robbie Ducky™ children’s products allegedly violated the federal lead paint ban and were later recalled by Jo-Ann Stores:

• Robbie Ducky™ children’s watering cans – 6,000 recalled on August 28, 2007

• Robbie Ducky™ children’s toy rakes – 16,000 recalled on September 26, 2007

• Robbie Ducky™ children’s toy rakes – An additional 97,000 toy rakes were recalled on October 25, 2007

• Robbie Ducky™ holiday water globes – 60 recalled on December 13, 2007

In agreeing to the settlement, Jo-Ann Stores denies CPSC’s allegations that it violated federal law.

At the time of the alleged violations, the federal limit on lead in paint was 600 ppm (0.06 percent). As a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the regulatory limit on lead in paint and surface coatings was reduced in August 2009 from 600 ppm (0.06 percent) to 90 ppm (.009 percent).

A known neurotoxin, lead exposure can cause brain and nervous system damage in children and fetuses. The toxin also causes 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.

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