More Lead Paint Recalls, This Time on Magnets

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with two U.S. distributors of various types of magnets, announced a voluntary recall of the products when it was found that the paint on them could contain excess levels of lead in violation of the federal lead paint standard.

Pacific Science Supplies Inc., of Bensenville, Ill., is recalling about 40,000 U-shaped magnets, bar magnets, magnet sets, and magnet needle sets. The "Large" and "Small" U-shaped magnets are in the shape of a "U" or horseshoe. Half of each magnet is painted red and is imprinted with the letter "N"; the other half is painted blue and imprinted with the letter "S." The "Large" and "Miniature" bar magnets are painted half red and half white, with an "N" imprinted on the red and an "S" imprinted on the white. The magnet sets, labeled "Magnets & Compasses" on the package, contains a small u-shaped magnet, two small bar magnets, and two small compasses. All magnets are painted half red and half white. The red half is imprinted with the letter "N" and the white half is imprinted with the letter "S." The magnet needle sets contain 10 sets of small cone-shape bases and elongated-diamond-shaped magnets which can be fastened into the bases. The magnets are painted half red and half white. All products were manufactured in China and sold through distributors nationwide that sell to educational institutions, including colleges, high schools, and middle schools. A small number were sold through educational stores nationwide from April 2000 through February 2008 for about $9.

Dowling Magnets of Sonoma, Calif., is likewise recalling about 91,500 of its Classic Horseshoe Magnet, because the red plastic coating on its "handle" end contains excessive levels of lead. Each "foot" of the 6-inch-tall magnets has an engraved "S" or "N." They were sold at specialty retail stores and educational supply distributors nationwide from March 2003 through April 2008 for about $10.

Although no incidents or injuries have been reported for either company, USCPC says consumers should immediately take the products away from children and contact the respective companies to receive free replacements. Pacific Science can be reached at (800) 530-1500 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. CT Monday through Friday, or through its Web site, www.pacsciusa.com. Dowling can be contacted (also toll-free) at (866) 623-3336 between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. PST Monday through Friday, through its Web site, www.dowlingmagnets.com, or via e-mail at support@dowlingmagnets.com.

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