Toy Guns Recalled for Lead Paint Standard Violations

Toy guns are being recalled for lead paint standard violations, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) just announced.

About 6,970 Captain Cutlass Toy Pirate Pistols are involved in the recall because the surface paints on the pirate toy pistols contain excessive levels of lead, a violation of the federal lead paint standard. To date no incidents or injuries have been reported; however, it is important to note that the effects of lead exposure and poisoning can take some time to become apparent.

We have long written that lead can accumulate in the body over time and pregnant women, infants, and young children, especially, should avoid exposure to lead. Lead exposure in children and unborn children can lead to brain and nervous system damage; slowed growth; headaches; mental and physical retardation; and behavioral, learning, hearing, and other health problems. The developing brain is of particular concern because lead exposure can have long-lasting effects that can continue well into puberty and beyond. Lead is also known to cause cancer and reproductive harm and, in adults, can damage the nervous system. Once poisoned, no organ system is immune.

The recalled Captain Cutlass Toy Pirate Pistols were manufactured in China by Ko Lik Manufacturing Ltd., of Hong Kong, China; imported by Dillon Importing Co., of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; and sold at Halloween and specialty stores nationwide from April 2008 through May 2012. The tainted toy guns sell for about $6.50.

As we’ve long said, imports from China have made headlines in recent years and in 2008, nearly 80% of all product recalls in the U.S. involved imports from China such as dog food; baby formula; toys with lead paint; and even pharmaceuticals, like heparin, found to be made with toxic materials and other counterfeit ingredients. In 2007, more than 100 North American pets died after consuming China-sourced melamine-tainted pet food.

This recall involves Captain Cutlass Pirate Pistol toys with a brown plastic grip, a black metallic stock and barrel, and a muzzle with an orange cap. The double-barreled toy pistol has one trigger and two hammers; a skull and crossbones motif is engraved on the toy gun’s grip.

The firm advises consumers to immediately take the recalled pistol toys away from children and contact Dillon Importing for instructions on returning the product for a full refund. Dillon can be reached, toll-free, at 1.800.654.3696, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Central Time (CT), Monday through Friday, or at the firm’s web site at

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