Calif. AG wants lead toys off store shelves

November 17, 2009 8:00:38 PM PST
A new federal law limits the lead content in children's products to just 300 parts per million to lessen exposure to the potentially harmful substance and the California Attorney General wants to make sure unsafe toys are pulled from store shelves before people start their holiday shoping.

But California Attorney General Jerry Brown found items like the Disney Fairies Water Lily Necklaces sold by Walgreens had more than 22,000.

The Barbie Flair Accessory Kit at Tuesday Morning Stores had nearly 7,000, while Paula Fuschia Shoes at Sears had almost 4,000.

"These things come in from China and all over the world so it's quite a job to test it; it's my office's job that when we find out this stuff, send out the warning, protect the public," Brown said.

Parents like Donica Patchell were surprised stores did not learn their lesson from the lead scare two years ago.

"As retailers, I would hope that they would be looking out for my children's best interest," Patchell said.

ABC7 visited several Sacramento-area stores on Brown's list and found many products had already been taken off the shelves, but that may not be the case statewide.

ABC7 did find the reversible Croco belt at Target. The cash registers, though, would not ring them up.

Target says it is looking into why the belts are still on the racks.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, D-San Francisco, who tried unsuccessfully to ban lead altogether in California, says this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

"If this is the sample of the list, I think there are probably more products out there on the shelf," she said.

That motivates parent Jacque McGill to make wiser choices this holiday shopping season.

"I'm going to be doing a lot of reading to find out where the product comes from and what it's made of," McGill said.

Brown reported his findings to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which could order recalls of the lead-laced items so that people who already have them at home could get rid of them.


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