Toy Maker Fined For Lead Paint, Other Violations

OKK Trading of Commerce, California, has agreed to pay a $665,000 civil penalty for failing to comply with a 30-year old ban on lead paint on toys, as well as violating other federal child safety standards, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced.

The penalty settlement, which has been provisionally accepted by the Commission, resolves CPSC staff allegations that from November 2007 through August 2008, OKK Trading knowingly imported and sold toys with paints that contained lead levels that exceeded legal limits. In 1978, a federal ban was put in place that prohibited toys and other children’s articles from having more than 0.06 percent lead (by weight) in paints or surface coatings. Lead can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health consequences.

For instance, exposure to lead can cause brain and nervous system damage, behavioral and learning problems, slowed growth, hearing problems, headaches, mental and physical retardation, and behavioral and other health problems in children and unborn children. Even at very low levels, lead is harmful to children’s health and, at elevated blood lead levels, children experience neurological problems, anemia, lower IQ scores, and shortened attention spans. At elevated levels, children can also suffer from comas, seizures, and death.

The OKK Trading penalty settlement resolves CPSC staff allegations that OKK Trading knowingly imported and sold toys, games, rattles, pacifiers, and art materials that violated the Federal Hazardous Substances Act. These allegations include:

From December 2004 through August 2008: OKK Trading imported and sold toys that had small parts in violation of CPSC regulations. To protect young children from choking, aspiration, or ingestion hazards, federal law prohibits toys intended for children under three from having small parts.

From November 2004 through January 2005: OKK Trading imported rattles that violated CPSC’s safety requirements for rattles.

From July 2007 through January 2008: OKK Trading imported and sold pacifiers that violated CPSC’s safety requirements for pacifiers, including the prohibition on small parts.

From January 2005 through April 2007: OKK Trading imported toys and games that violated CPSC’s labeling requirements for balloons, small balls, and small parts.

From September 2005 through April 2007: OKK Trading imported art materials that violated CPSC’s labeling requirements.

The OKK Trading settlement also covers staff allegations that from May 2007 through December 2007, OKK Trading knowingly exported noncompliant toys in violation of federal notification requirements.

OKK Trading informed CPSC that it received no reports of incidents or injuries involving the products covered by this settlement. In agreeing to the settlement, OKK Trading denies CPSC’s allegations that it knowingly violated the law.

Most recently, New York Governor David A. Paterson announced the creation of the Governor’s Task Force on the Prevention of Childhood Lead Poisoning as well as increased funding for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Primary Prevention Program (CLPPPP), among other initiatives to reduce lead poisoning rates in children.

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