With the recall of some Thomas & Friends and Sponge Bob toys on August 22, the total number of products recalled due to lead contamination in 2007 reached 10,020,300, according to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. None of the items were manufactured in the US, so the recall responsibility and cost falls squarely on the shoulders of the US importers. We took at look back at 2007’s lead recalls to try to understand the scope of the problem.
Is This Just A “China” Problem?
Although most of the recalled products came from China, there were two recalls of jewelry made in India and two from Hong Kong. (Hong Kong is a “special administrative region” of China but is considered separate from China by the CPSC.) Ultimately, the responsibility for the recalled products is on the US company that imported them.
What Types Of Products Are Most Often Contaminated?
The lead contaminated products are a diverse bunch—from lead snaps on children’s clothing to lead-based paint on toys, as well as jewelry with lead contaminated clasps and chains.
In addition to the well-known recalls of Thomas & Friends and Fisher-Price toys, lesser talked about recalls of souvenir gift shop jewelry and trinkets from vending machines were common. Some recalled jewelry featured popular Disney characters and movies and was sold at outlets like Limited, Too.
What Should Parents Do?
There’s not a whole lot you can do, unfortunately. We’d recommend paying close attention to recalls and to avoid giving cheap metal jewelry to young children.