Fisher-Price Pulls Lead Tainted Toy In Illinois Only

Illinois has tough laws when it comes to dangerous toys, and now Fisher-Price has found itself on the wrong side of the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, according to Consumer Reports.

Back in October, CR tested the Fisher-Price Medical Kit, a classic toy that has been sold for years, and found that the plastic used for the red blood pressure cuff was tainted with lead. Unfortunately, because there is no federal law regulating the amount of lead in PVC and plastic (just paint) Fisher-Price is refusing to pull the toy from the market.

Based on the levels of accessible surface lead we measured, we estimated that a child could potentially receive a dose of more than 15 micrograms of lead per day through foreseeable hand-to-mouth contact while playing with the toy. That amount could potentially increase a child’s risk of accumulating a blood lead level that exceeds 10 micrograms per deciliter–the threshold established by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that generally triggers some form of intervention by doctors or public health officials.

Although we discussed our test results with Fisher-Price and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), neither took immediate action. Fisher-Price contends that the toy “is fully compliant” with all federal regulations, which CPSC confirms. But the federal regulation for lead in toys places limits on only paint and surface coatings. There are no federal limits on lead in plastics such as PVC. That’s a huge gap in the regulations that can leave children at risk for lead exposure.

CR says that Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan heard about their test results and commissioned separate tests to see if the toy really did contain dangerous amounts of lead.

According to the attorney general, the tests of the blood pressure cuffs revealed lead levels of 4,500 ppm and 5,900 ppm, more than seven to nine times the limit of 600 ppm allowed by Illinois state law. “Parents and other consumers should act quickly to ensure that children do not continue to have contact with this product,” Madigan said.

At the request of Madigan’s office, Fisher-Price has agreed to remove the affected toy Medical Kit from store shelves in Illinois and offer a replacement part–free of lead–to families that already own the toy. When asked what kit owners in other states should do, Fisher-Price spokeswoman Juliette Reashor said, “If consumers in states other than Illinois have concerns about the red blood pressure cuff, they may contact Fisher-Price at 800-298-0638.”

She added that only the red cuffs are at issue. “The other colored blood pressure cuffs are made of different materials and are unaffected,” Reashor said.

Here’s what we would like to know: How can Fisher-Price refuse to recall the toy nationwide, while at the same time assuring parents that other colors are “unaffected?”

Hey, Fisher-Price, the toy is supposed to help kids pretend to be a doctor, not send them to see one for chelation therapy.

Fisher-Price pulls lead-tainted toy in Illinois but not other states [Consumer Reports]
Medical Kit [Fisher-Price]

PREVIOUSLY: Amazon Pulls Fisher-Price Medical Kit After CR Lead Report

Consumer Reports Finds “Troubling” Levels Of Lead In Unrecalled Fisher-Price Toy


Edit Your Comment

  1. osiris7 says:

    Fisher Price loves to MURDER CHILDREN apparently. I’ve hated them since my Power Wheels quickly died after purchase. Bastards.

  2. Angiol says:

    Red paint tends to have the most lead, because (from what I’ve heard) it’s hard to make non-lead-containing red paints. So colors other than red wouldn’t have nearly the same amount of lead in them.

  3. Buran says:

    They don’t legally have to but they should anyway. Are you miraculously less likely to get poisoned if you live here in St. Louis or something? Apparently they think so.

    Can’t wait for the lawsuits to fly — admit your product is unsafe and must be recalled — if you live on the wrong side of the middle of the Mississippi. I’m sure a lawyer can argue that that’s callous disregard for life.

  4. I <3 Lisa Madigan!

    (And Meg, way to use “chelation” in a sentence. :P )

  5. Rachacha says:

    @Angiol: Red paint does not cover very well (requires multiple coats to make it look nice). The addition of lead to the paint improves the coverage therefore requiring fewer coats and decreasing manufacturing costs for labor & materials.

    Lead in plastics and vinyl is used to improve the flexability of the material, without it, plastics tend to become very brittle and will often break (causing chiking hazards and sharp edges).

    With this in mind, why aren’t the other colored cuffs affected…unless the red actually is paint…hmm I call a nationwide recall before Christmas.

  6. B1663R says:

    has anyone given any consideration to the poor workers in China who actually have to apply this lead paint without any protective safety devices?

    the majority of the workers are probably pissing bullets by now.

    the world needs to tell China that the way you poison your workers is unacceptable and apply the necessary pressure and get the workers some basic rights.

  7. savvy999 says:

    The lead is probably in the dye added to the PVC that the red cuff is made from. Raw PVC pellets are anywhere from a milky white to light gray color. Additives like color, UV inhibitors, plasticizers are put into the mix before they are extruded or molded into whatever shape it needs to be.

    It’s these dyes and the plastics that contain them that are not covered by law, and F-P is driving their poisonous profit-truck through. F***ers.

  8. Lisa Madigan is a rock star here in Illinois. She is the most active AG that I’ve ever encountered. I am looking forward to her being the next governor.

  9. @DSaddict: This is true too.. but for now we need to stop these companies from selling this crap… without the products being ordered, it should take care of the production side…

  10. mk says:

    You know, I always thought my sister was a bit of a nut for buying primarily wooden Scandinavian toys for her kids. Now I guess I have to agree with her. This year they’re getting knitted dolls from me.

  11. marsneedsrabbits says:


    I wasn’t that way until this year. Now Santa is bringing wooden toys from Europe, the United States, plus a doll from Germany and a plastic toy from Switzerland.

    FTA:Fisher-Price is refusing to pull the toy from the market.

    And I’m refusing to purchase Fisher-Price or Mattel toys again & have asked that we not get any as gifts, so I guess we’re even.

  12. Joedel263 says:

    Toys R Us has pulled this from their shelves in all states.. There is also a pink version of this set available that is fine (which is why they vaguely mention that other colored pieces are ok)