By Natasha T. Metzler, AP
WASHINGTON — More than 90,000 children’s products, most imported by J.C. Penney Co. Inc., are being recalled for containing dangerous levels of lead, a government safety group announced.
J.C. Penney recalled Chinese-made Winnie the Pooh play sets and decorative ornaments with a horse theme, as well as art kits made in Taiwan and Vietnam. Totaling 70,400, the toys imported and sold by J.C. Penney all had excessive levels of lead in their surface paint.
Lead is toxic if ingested by young children. Under current regulations, children’s products found to have more than 0.06 percent lead accessible to users are subject to recall.
Consumer Product Safety Commission spokeswoman Julie Vallese said this round of toy recalls is “the direct result of the commitment that was made earlier this summer of cleaning the proverbial house.”
“We anticipate that we will continue to find products that are in violation, but we also anticipate that the number of products that are in violation will go down,” she said.
Due to the recent increase in recalls of lead contaminated toys, J.C. Penney asked an independent laboratory to perform additional tests on its painted toys, according to spokeswoman Darcie Brossart. This process started sometime in August, she said, and the company alerted the commission to a potential recall just under two weeks ago.
An additional 20,300 Chinese-made toys were recalled by three other companies, according to the commission. Miniature Jeff Gordon NASCAR helmets by Riddell Inc., bendable dinosaur toys by Kipp Brothers, and magnetic art kits by Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores also were recalled for lead-contamination.
“What we don’t want parents to do is say, `Oh, not another one’ and do nothing about it,” Vallese said. She encouraged parents not only to remove the recalled toys from children, but to follow the instructions to obtain refund or replacement products.