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Wal-Mart, Target Remove Lead-Tainted Toys from Shelves

Wal-Mart and Target stores have removed lead-tainted children’s products from store shelves after the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) reported that the products contained high levels of lead in violation of federal standards, reports The Sacramento Bee.

Christine Gasparac, a spokeswoman for the California attorney general’s office, told The Sacramento Bee that the state contacted the retailers Friday when it received notification from the center.

The advocacy group found high levels of lead in five children’s products from Wal-Mart and Target. The products were purchased between September 11 and September 18 from Bay Area outlets of the two retailers and online from the companies’ Websites.

Testing of Wal-Mart products found high lead levels in a toddlers’ bean bag chairs, youth boxing gloves and toy foam beads sold for children’s jewelry. The items ranged from more than 3 times to more than 45 times the legal limit, according to CEH.

CEH also found high lead levels in two chairs sold for toddlers at Target, with one containing more than 70 times the legal limit for lead. In February, the retailer stopped selling its Valentine’s Day Message Bears after CEH found that they contained lead levels eight times higher than federal limits.

CEH also purchased a lead-tainted bounce house online from CSNStores.com via the WalMart.com Website. The organization also found high lead levels in violation of California’s jewelry law in three adult jewelry items purchased in September from Wal-Mart. Illegal lead levels were found in black and brown plastic cords on two necklaces, and in a red plastic choker.

The Attorney General’s office will also request that the company immediately stop sales of these products.

Under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, children’s products cannot contain more than 300 parts per million of lead, reports The Sacramento Bee.

CEH says the Consumer Product Safety Commission requested comments last month on the technical feasibility of lowering the permissible lead levels in children’s products from 300 ppm to 100 ppm.

Several toymakers have faced fines or recalls over the past few years due to toys tainted with high levels of lead.

In June, more than 40 major apparel retailers and vendors, including Macy’s, Target, Kohl’s, and JC Penney agreed to set new industry standards that limit lead in handbags and other fashion products as part of a $1.7 million settlement with the CEH. The advocacy group filed a lawsuit last year against the retailers after finding high levels of lead in hundreds of purses and other accessories.

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