Mattel to recall third batch of Chinese-made toys

15 2007

Mattel to recall third batch of Chinese-made toys

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More than 800,000 Chinese-made Mattel toys are being recalled because they may contain excessive amounts of lead paint.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Mattel Inc. made the announcement late Tuesday, marking the embattled toymaker's third major recall of Chinese-made toys over lead paint concerns in a month.

The recall covers about 844,000 units of various Barbie accessory toys that were manufactured between Sept. 30, 2006, and Aug. 20, 2007.

In total, there are 25,500 toys affected by the recall in Canada -- including seven Barbie-branded toys.

The action also involves 8,900 different toys involving Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys from the company's Fisher-Price brand. Those products were sold from July 2007 through Aug. 2007.

Among the three Fisher-Price toys recalled globally: two Fisher-Price Geotrax toys were sold in Canada and one "It's a Big Big World" toy was sold exclusively in the U.S.

"As a result of our ongoing investigation we discovered additional affected products," said Robert Eckert, chairman and CEO of El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel.

"Consequently, several subcontractors are no longer manufacturing Mattel toys. We apologize again to everyone affected and promise that we will continue to focus on ensuring the safety and quality of our toys."

Mattel instructs customers to go to its website to determine whether they own a recalled product. After they fill out a form and mail back the affected parts, Mattel will send them replacement and bonus parts.

Mattel’s last recall, its second announced on Aug. 14, covered about 18.2 million toys worldwide -- with more than 900,000 of them in Canada, and about 9.5 million in the U.S.

They included Chinese-made toys that either had excessive amounts of lead paint or had small magnets that could easily be swallowed by children.

In its first recall on Aug. 1, Mattel’s Fisher-Price division said it was recalling 1.5 million preschool toys featuring characters such as Dora the Explorer, Big Bird and Elmo because of lead paint.

Under current regulations, children's products found to have more than .06 per cent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall.

Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects.

According to Health Canada, children who ingest lead can suffer from adverse health effects, including headaches, vomiting, irritability, weakness, weight loss, a poor attention span and slowed speech.

So far, there have been no incidents of illness reported in either Canada or the United States related to the recall.

Mattel vowed last month it would tighten its controls at its Chinese factories, where about 65 per cent of the company's toys are made.

Until recently, Mattel had focused testing on materials that went into the toys and had factories do sample testing of its products. Now, the company is increasing its checks at the beginning of production and during production.

Factories are also being forced to test every batch of products before they are released to stores. Mattel has also stepping up unannounced random testing of its Chinese suppliers and is tightening enforcement of rules that suppliers use certified paint.

With a report from The Associated Press


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