Walmart Removes Lead-Tainted Toys From Shelves, But Only In California

Recent tests by the Center for Environmental Health found lead levels in excess of allowable amounts in toys and baby products sold at Walmart and Target. But while Target has agreed to stop selling the items at all its stores, Walmart has only agreed to pull the products in question from stores in California.

Target has told CEH that it will remove the two high chairs — the “Broadway” and the “VIP” — found to contain more than the legal limit for lead. One chair was found to contain 70 times the legal limit.

The CEH’s test of products sold at WalMart found high lead levels in a toddlers’ bean bag chairs, youth boxing gloves and toy foam beads sold for children’s jewelry (all pictured above). The items ranged from more than 3 times to more than 45 times the legal limit.

A rep for Walmart tells the AP that the retail giant is putting a halt to sales of these products in California and from Walmart.com.

Says CEH’s Research Director:

We cannot understand how WalMart can continue to sell these lead-tainted products to children in any state, or any country… It’s been more than two years since federal law established strict limits to protect children from these kinds of lead threats. Clearly WalMart needs to do better for our families.

Additionally, the study found high levels of lead in three adult jewelry items — two plastic necklace cords and a plastic choker.

The California Attorney General’s office, which provided a grant to CEH for the study, has contacted the retailers to demand an end to all sales of lead-tainted items.

As always, Walmart says it is taking the matter seriously:

The safety of customers and their children is a top priority of Walmart, and we have established testing standards with our suppliers to ensure the quality and safety of our products.

CEH has also submitted its finding to the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the hope of having a recall issued.

Group finds lead in Walmart, Target children’s products [Delmarvanow.com]

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  1. jdmba says:

    Go California — We lead the nation on EVERYTHING.

    … now about that Prop 19 …

    • Applekid ┬──┬ ノ( ã‚œ-゜ノ) says:

      Delicious lead pun makes me laugh.

  2. Holybalheadedchrist! says:

    Clearly the free market is working. Thy will be done… but not in California.

  3. jimmyhl says:

    So I can still get all the lead-tainted toys I want here in Pennsylvania, right?

    • Vogue007 says:

      Probably not for long. Similarly to Cali, PA has the Pennsylvania RTK Laws in place. Walmart’s main concern for not allowing these toys to be sold in Cali is most likely due to their tox laws and the HUGE fines that go along with violating them (we’re talking up to 250K per violation)… I’m not 100% sure but that would be my guess as to why they are taking these toys off the shelves there. The EU has a much better system in place – http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:L:2009:170:0001:0037:EN:PDF

      • Rachacha says:

        How so? Relying on the manufacturers that have a vested interest in the products complying certifying that the products they make pass the tests that they conduct and comply with the rules? The requirements in Europe are different than in the US, so much so that during the “summer of lead” with all of the lead paint recalls a couple years ago, products that were recalled in the US for failing to comply with the old US standards were fully compliant with the European regulations. After that summer, the US regulators tightened the requirements for lead paint in toys, but the EU is still running on their old requirements.

        • Vogue007 says:

          How so? The EU regulations for one require full disclosure on toxic substances, unlike the US & the directive from that link was put into law halfway through 2009 (not several years ago).

  4. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    Don’t the labels state clearly that only the State of California knows that there is lead and that it is dangerous? Clearly the other states need to get on the bandwagon, tuttut.

  5. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    California does tend to go a little crazy with their “liberal” law creation. But clearly, they’re doing something right because their citizens seem to get a lot more protection than the rest of us.

    • Rachacha says:

      Too bad the state is bankrupt, is plagued by wildfires, illegal immigrants and will fall into the ocean some day.

      California tends to have some crazy laws that are simply on the books to preserve government. For example, you can’t use an electrical product in the workplace in Los Angeles unless it was tested by a laboratory approved by LA. The qualifications to become an accredited laboratory, you need to be accredited by the federal government and you need to submit an application and fee to the city. If your product was not tested, you need to submit it to an accredited laboratory…conveniently, the city has its own testing lab. The federal laws cover this same issue, but LA has placed an additional level of bureaucracy just for the heck of it.

  6. Telekinesis123 says:

    I guess poisoning children and possibly handicapping their development for the rest of their lives is OK as long as it saves them a measly sum.

  7. sp00nix says:

    Everything is known to cause cancer in the state of California. I live in Pa so its safe for me to eat rosin core solder.

  8. Eli the Ice Man says:

    Yeah, but think of all the money you saved!