Reader Eric was appalled when he noticed a warning label on a teddy bear from Babies R Us that disclosed that the toy contained lead. He wrote to the company and got a response back confirming that, yes, the toy does contain lead, but it meets federal standards.
We registered at Babies R Us – not because we particularly love the store, but we don’t have many options where we live and its a big chain convenient to our families. One of the presents we got was this cute little teddy bear with a gift card. We thought that was great and would make a nice little toy for our baby girl… until we read the attached tag. It says:
“WARNING: Contains lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead.”
We were shocked.
He cc’d us on his email to Babies R Us and also forwarded their response. In it, they explain that the bear meets federal standards, but that there is a state law in Illinois requiring them to disclose lead levels higher than 40ppm. Here it is:
FW: Lead-Based Teddy Bear
Customer – 10/06/2010 10:59 AM
Dear Mr. [redacted],
Thank you for contacting Toys “R” Us.
We appreciate your concern regarding the teddy bear that you received.
Toys “R” Us remains committed to ensuring the safety of the products we sell, and has put in place industry-leading product safety standards that meet and exceed federally mandated requirements. All of the products we sell meet federal standards for lead in children’s products. With respect to paint and surface coatings, this means that the items do not exceed 90 ppm of lead.
Illinois has enacted a state law requiring that certain children’s products bear a warning label if their paint and surface coats exceed a lead limit of 40 ppm, which is lower than federal standards require. To comply with this new Illinois law, these labels are now affixed on the required items that are carried in all of our stores.
We remain committed to providing only the safest products for our guests, and we continue to look for ways to raise the bar on product safety.
Thank you, once again, for contacting Toys “R” Us.
The “R” Us Team