Over 10,000,000 Items Recalled For Lead Contamination In 2007

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.

Which Stores?

Most big-box stores have already had lead-related recall this year. Walmart exclusive earrings were recalled, as were Target exclusive Anima Bamboo play-sets. Kmart jewelry was recalled as well.

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?

highschool.jpgThe 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.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Chris H says:

    Could you provide a link to the source data or the exact source of that chart?

  2. lestat730 says:

    disturbing, That is a whole lot of products right there and when you think about it the average consumer never even finds out about recalls….

  3. phobs says:

    I would like to see how this relates to the number of any/all recalls.

  4. phoenixcat says:

    You know, the scary thing about this, is how so many people just ignore the warnings as just another thing in the world.. My sister has some of the toys that were recalled, and is keeping them- for when they are older– what the hell is that about?

  5. revmatty says:

    “Ultimately, the responsibility for the recalled products is on the US company that imported them.”

    Wow, that’s the sort of sentiment that has been noticeably been lacking on this site in most discussions of recalls. I strongly suspect that the relative percentages for China -vs- India track pretty closely to the percentage of total products imported from China -vs- India.

  6. Plasmafire says:

    It looks like it might be worth investing in a company that makes lead test kits.

  7. girly says:

    Anybody remember the lead mini-blinds from 10-15 years ago–I’ve been suspicious ever since then!