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Child Development ABC Reports Mattel Fined $2.3 Million for Toy Hazards

Posted Jun 17 2009 6:15pm
By Colleen Hurley, RD, Certified Kids Nutrition Specialist Just when parents thought toy shopping got a little safer. Over the past year, great strides have been made in keeping harmful chemicals out of the hands of children, including providing the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) with additional funds to crack down on safety violations. The CPSC is apparently working more efficiently as they recently reported Mattel knowingly ignored safety standards. Toymakers Mattel Inc. and its Fischer Price subsidiary will be paying a $2.3 million civil penalty for selling and importing toys containing excessive amounts of lead. It wasnt a new regulation Mattel violated, but a 30 year old federal ban on lead paint in toys and, as the CPSC announced, did so knowingly. The toy company denies purposefully violating the ban, yet this is not their first time in the hot seat. During the 2007 holiday shopping season, Fisher-Price and Mattel were among many other toymakers who had millions of China-made toys pulled from shelves. This is first fine for the commission, who hopes this will serve as a notice to other toymakers that the CSPC is committed to child safety. The 2007 toy recalls were highly publicized, which the commission feels helped spawn congressional legislative action. One big change that arrived last summer, the Consumer Product Safety Act, restricts lead amounts in childrens products. We were able to effectively minimize any potential concerns by launching a fast-track recall of the affected product in conjunction with the CPSC and other global regulatory agencies, and by taking several steps to enhance our product compliance protocols and procedures to confirm that every Mattel toy is safe for children to enjoy ; Mattel responded to the CPSC announcement. Lead poisoning is a serious matter for children as it can lead to delayed physical and mental development, learning deficiencies, and neurological damage.
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