Retailers looking for recalled toys

Toy retailers in the Cayman Islands are busy checking their stocks to see if they have any of the items Fisher Price has recalled.

The toy manufacturer is recalling 83 types of popular children’s toys after it was discovered that their Chinee manufacturer had used paint containing high amounts of lead.

The recall applies to almost 1 million individual toy products sold in stores in North America this year between May and August, including characters from the Dora the Explorer and Sesame Street ranges as well as other toys.

Hobbies and Books owner Billy Adam said he was taking no risks and had removed all products on the list from his shelves, even those the store received prior to May.

He called on anyone concerned they had purchased an affected product from Hobbies and Books to take the toy in for a full refund.

Cay-Puzzles, Atlantic Kids and Noah’s Ark all confirmed they did not stock the affected product.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the voluntary recall Thursday, warning that the surface paint on the toys could contain excessive levels of lead that is toxic to young children if ingested.

‘Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from children and contact Fisher-Price,’ the CPSC statement read. ‘Consumers will need to return the product and will receive a voucher for a replacement toy of the consumer’s choice (up to the value of the returned product).’

In a press release, Fisher-Price’s parent company, Mattel Inc., apologised for the recall. The company said a thorough investigation into the matter had been launched and it was also conducting a review of procedures followed by all of its Chinese contract manufacturers.

‘While the contract manufacturer has had a good track record on product safety in the past, Mattel regards the use of lead paint as a serious mistake. If the company concludes that safety procedures were knowingly ignored, Mattel will take appropriate action,’ it said.

Lead poisoning is thought to affect four per cent of children in the United States, most commonly because of exposure to old paint with lead in it.

Ingestion of lead can lead children to develop problems with their brain, kidneys, teeth, liver and bone marrow. In time, this may lead to behavioural problems, concentration problems and a diminished IQ.

Symptoms of lead poisoning in children include belly-pain, headaches, vomiting, confusion, muscle weakness, seizures, hair-loss and anaemia.

Bloomberg.com reported Thursday that the recall is expected to cost Mattel Inc. US$30 million – almost half its second quarter operating income.

The recall is the latest in a string of cases involving shoddy ‘Made in China’ products, including poisonous pet food that killed cats and dogs across North America in March.

A full list of affected toys is available at http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml07/07257.html

Anyone that has purchased the product in the USA is asked to call Mattel Inc. on +1 800 916 4498.

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