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Archive for the 'Toxic Toys' Category

PARENTS ALERT! SOURCING SAFE TOYS

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Greed, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Toys on November 30th, 2007

THIS YEAR 23 MILLION TOYS HAVE BEEN RECALLED AND THE U.S. CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION HAS INDICATED THERE MAY BE OTHERS PULLED OFF THE MARKET BEFORE CHRISTMAS

7742288toy-recallsff.jpgA poll done last month by Harris Interactive showed that about 33 percent of Americans say they will be buying fewer toys this holiday season due to safety concerns, and 45 percent said they will avoid buying toys made in China. Many readers of this column have e-mailed me to say the same thing.

But buying toys made in America isn’t easy – about 80 percent of the toys sold in this country come from China – plus there is no guarantee a toy made in the U.S. is safe. It could be assembled here with imported parts that contain lead or have small parts that could choke a child.

Marianne Szymanski, publisher of Toy Tips and Parenting Hints magazine says parents don’t need to panic, because most toys on the market are safe. Chinese factories will make about 8 billion toys for sale in America this year and only 2 percent of them, she says, have been recalled.

MORE…

Source: MSNBC

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CALIFORNIA TAKES MATTEL AND OTHERS TO COURT OVER TOXIC TOYS

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Health Watch, News Brief, Toxic Toys on November 20th, 2007

ALLEGES MATTEL, TOYS “R” US, WAL-MART, TARGET, SEARS, KB TOYS, COSTCO AND OTHERS KNOWINGLY SOLD TOYS WITH UNSAFE LEVELS OF LEAD. EACH OF THE NAMED DEFENDANTS COULD BE REQUIRED TO PAY AS MUCH AS $2,500 PER VIOLATION

Spinning Top RecallThe ridiculous belief in deregulation and in the ability of corporations to self police, a cornerstone of the Bush business philosophy, took a crashing blow to its credibility yesterday as the State of California filed suit in Superior Court against 20 companies, including Mattel, , alleging that the defendants “knowingly” sold toys containing “unlawful quantities of lead. Moreover, the named companies “failed to provide warning of the risk to consumers.”

The legal justification for the state’s action is a 1986 California law, the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, better known to state residents as Proposition 65. Joining the state in the suit is the City of Los Angeles. If California is successful in the courts, each of the named defendants could be required to pay as much as $2,500.00 per toy found to contain excessive levels of lead.

Kudos to California for having the courage to step up and act in this matter. In a more perfect world, filings like this would be the job of the Federal Government. That is, in a more perfect world.

It is indeed criminal that toys containing excessive levels of lead, or any other toxin for that matter (think the Aqua Dots covered in the date-rape drug), could even be allowed to leave the factory, let alone be exported around the world and distributed to retail stores without a thorough inspection. The fact that this happened proves how little these companies care about anything or anyone other then their financial bottom line. Otherwise, this scandal would have been caught early on and no one would be aware of it today. For ignoring their responsibility to our children, the named defendants should pay and pay dearly. This is the only thing that these corporations understand.

The only question that remains in light of the California filing is what will be the ultimate end destination of these recalled products? My fear is that they will wind up in the “Big Lots’” and Marshall’s of the world from which they will make their way into many poorer homes, homes where the parents are not as aware of the present scandal. This is an aspect of the story the no one is apparently willing to address, and which should ideally be addressed before the holiday season begins in a few days.

If you feel as strongly as I do about this matter, contact your local media. Many if enough of us make an issue of this, we can prevent it from being swept under the table.

- LIB

MORE….

Source: The Associated Press

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FRIDAY’S RECALL ROUNDUP

Posted in Corporate Carelessness, Corporate Greed, Health Watch, Toxic Toys on November 9th, 2007

TOYS, TOYS AND MORE TOYS FACE RECALL

curious_george_071108_ms.jpgThe following are the latest in the seemingly never ending list of toys and other consumer goods, manufactured in China, that are facing recall for excessive levels of lead

- About 110,000 Curious George dolls dolls, imported and sold by Marvel Toys since 2005.

- About 2,600 Robot 2000 collectible tin robots, imported by Schylling Associates and sold in U.S. stores from October 2006 through September 2007.

- About 1,300 Dizzy Ducks music box toys, imported by Schylling Associates and sold in stores from March 2007 through October 2007.

- About 3,600 Winnie the Pooh spinning toys, imported by Schylling Associates and sold in stores from April 2003 through November 2003.

- About 3,500 Duck Family wind-up toys, imported by Schylling Associates and sold from January 2007 through August 2007.

- About 380,000 Pull-Back Action toy cars imported by Dollar General Merchandising and sold in U.S. Dollar General stores from April 2007 through October 2007.

- About 7,500 Dragster and Funny Car toys imported by International Sourcing and sold at National Hot Rod Association events and Matco Tools from March 2007 through September 2007.

- About 7,200 Big Red wagons imported by Northern Tool & Equipment and sold through the company’s catalogue, website and U.S. stores from July 2007 through September 2007.

Luckily, as of this writing, no adverse health effects associated with any of the products have been reported.

High amounts of lead can harm the kidneys and other major organs. Anemia, a decline in red blood cells, can occur, as well as damage to the nervous system that may impair mental function. Lead poisoning can also cause seizures or death.

-LIB

Source: CBC / The Associated Press

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PARENTS ALERT! RECALL ISSUED FOR CHINESE MADE “AQUADOTS”

Posted in Corporate Greed, Corporate Polluters, Health Watch, News Brief, Public Service Announcement, Toxic Toys on November 8th, 2007

SCIENTISTS HAVE ESTABLISHED THAT IF INGESTED, TOY CAN INDUCE UNCONSCIOUSNESS, SEIZURES, DROWSINESS, COMA AND DEATH

aquadots_071108300w.jpgI guess I can’t say that this surprises me all that much. Disappoints me, yes, but doesn’t surprise me.

Month’s back when the first of the toy recalls was announced; I commented in these pages that it was probably the tip of a very large iceberg. Sadly, this is one of the times that I was dead-on in my predictions.

The culpability for this latest instance, and for all of the instances, should fall evenly on both the company marketing the product, and on the company contracted to do the work. But as we have seen in previous instances, usually it is the Chinese manufacturer taking most of the heat for product failures.

Granted, regular testing should be a part of every step of the manufacturing process. Apparently it is not. Now whether this is a cost saving measure, or just something that is not yet done in the Chinese manufacturing culture is unknown, though I would be willing to venture a guess that it’s a matter of dollars and sense. Afterall, the Chinese manufacturing market only exists and has grown to its present size because of the cost savings involved.

Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the company issuing the product to test the Chinese factory’s output before placing the product on store shelves. Apparently this is not done all that often either. If it were, Aquadots and the scores of other products recalled would never have been distributed in the first place.

What this latest recall and the ones that have gone before will mean to the toy industry this holiday season is anyone’s guess. My only hope is that the industry comes up with an environmentally sound way of disposing of these items. My fear is that many of them will make their way to the discount stores and ultimately in to the hands of unsuspecting parents and children. This would be a tragedy.

The media needs to focus more on this aspect of the story.

-LIB

TOYS LINKED TO A DATE-RAPE DRUG RECALLED

China-made beads for kids metabolize into GHB when ingested

Aqua Dots, a highly popular holiday toy sold by Australia-based Moose Enterprises, are beads that can be arranged into designs and fused when sprayed with water.

The toy was pulled from shelves in North American and Australia after scientists found they contain a chemical that converts into the so-called date rape drug when eaten.

Two children in the U.S. and three in Australia were hospitalized after swallowing the beads.

Scientists say a chemical coating on the beads can metabolize into the drug gamma hydroxy butyrate. When eaten, the compound — made from common and easily available ingredients — can induce unconsciousness, seizures, drowsiness, coma and death.

MORE….

Source: The Associated Press /MSNBC

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