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More toys recalled over lead content

From Reuters

More than half a million toys including key chains, Winnie the Pooh bookmarks and Baby Einstein color blocks are being recalled because of excessive lead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

Among the recalled toys, all made in China, were key chains with words such as “truth” and “believe” engraved on them, the commission said.

Dollar General Merchandising Inc. sold 192,000 of the key chains for $1 each, the commission said.

Dollar General, based in Goodlettsville, Tenn., said after the recall that it was switching to a domestic jewelry supplier and that it had begun testing all the toys it imported for lead.

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Lead is toxic in large amounts. A 4-year-old Minneapolis boy died of lead poisoning in 2006 when he swallowed a small charm. In smaller amounts, lead can cause developmental delays and behavioral problems.

These recalls follow a summer in which millions of toys from El Segundo-based Mattel Inc., RC2 Corp. of Oak Brook, Ill., and others were pulled worldwide because of lead paint.

The latest recalls were announced as the acting head of the CPSC, Nancy Nord, was to testify at a Senate subcommittee hearing on a bill to overhaul the agency and require it to take tougher protective measures.

The recall also affects about 35,000 Baby Einstein Discover and Play Color Blocks from Kids II Inc. of Alpharetta, Ga., which had excessive lead in the paint.

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Also recalled were about 150,000 journals, bookmarks and bracelets made by Antioch Publishing of Yellow Springs, Ohio. The bracelets contain high levels of lead, and the paint used on the journal bindings and bookmark clips has excessive lead.

The CPSC said lead was also in the paint on portions of 79,000 “Pirates of the Caribbean” Medallion Squeeze Lights imported by Eveready Battery Co. of St. Louis, and 63,000 Frankenstein tumblers sold by Dollar General.

Paint on mirrors in about 15,000 children’s room decorating sets made by CKI Toys of Hong Kong had excessive levels of lead, as did wooden alphabet and math block wagons sold by KB Toys Inc. of Pittsfield, Mass., the CPSC said.

For more details on the latest recalls, go to www.cpsc.gov.

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