Nine Companies Penalized Violating Federal Lead Paint Ban

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced that nine children's product manufacturers, importers, and sellers have agreed to pay more than $500,000 in civil penalties for violating the federal lead paint ban.

The penalties settle allegations that the firms knowingly manufactured, imported, or sold toys and other children's articles with paint or other surface coatings that contained lead levels in violation of federal law. The settlements have been provisionally accepted by CPSC.

These products were recalled in 2007 and 2008, and include items such as toys, children's metal jewelry, children's pens, metal water bottles, pencil pouches, sunglasses, and children's Halloween pails and baskets. Tests showed that paint or surface coatings on these children's products contained lead in excess of 600 ppm, or 0.06 percent, by weight.

One firm's testing revealed that its products contained surface coatings with nearly 60 percent lead. In 1978, a federal ban was put in place which prohibited toys and other children's articles from having more than 0.06 percent lead (by weight) in paints or surface coatings. Lead can be toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health consequences.

CPSC has ordered the following firms to pay civil penalties to the federal government: Cardinal Distributing Co. Inc., of Baltimore, Md., $100,000, recall #07-157; Dollar General Corp., of Goodlettsville, Tenn., $100,000, recalls 08-007 and #08-068, #08-080; Family Dollar Stores Inc., of Matthews, N.C., $75,000, recall #08-051; Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., of Oklahoma City, Okla., $50,000 recalls #08-084 and #08-229; First Learning Company Ltd., of Hong Kong, $50,000, recalls #08-141 and #08-174; Michaels Stores Inc., of Irving, Texas, $45,000; recall #08-248; A&A Global Industries Inc., of Cockeysville, Md., $40,000, recall #07-144; Raymond Geddes & Co, of Baltimore, Md., $40,000, recall #08-096; and Downeast Concepts Inc., of Yarmouth, Maine, $30,000, recall #08-231.

In agreeing to settle the matters, the firms deny CPSC's allegations that they knowingly violated the law.

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