Earlier this month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that G. A. Gertmenian and Sons had begun recalling 600 units of the Toy Story 3 Bowling Game Rugs with batch marking of JA 148. The recalled product, which was manufactured in China, contains six white plastic bowling pins with two red stripes painted on the neck, one black plastic ball, and a nylon game rug with a print of the character Buzz Lightyear on the front. The toys were sold in Wal-Mart stores between September 1, 2010 and September 25, 2010.
The recall stems from the fact that the paint used on the game sets’ bowling pins exceeds the maximum allowable lead level, 90 ppm, which is a violation of the federal lead paint standard.
Although this is a rather small recall, it reminds us of lead paint’s dangers to children. The CPSC, for example, has instructed those who purchased the product to stop using it immediately and has reminded owners that it is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.
Lead poisoning can be lethal in high dosages, but it is more common for lead poisoning to build up slowly over time. Lead is much more harmful to children than adults because it can affect children’s brain and nerve development, causing, for example neurological damage, delayed mental and physical development, learning deficiencies, hearing problems, and kidney damage.
This is far from the first time that lead paint in children’s toys manufactured in China has captured attention. In 2007, Mattel and Fisher-Price recalled nearly 2 million products. These recalls resulted in a 2.3 million dollar fine for Mattel and its Fisher-Price subsidiary by the CPSC and a class action settlement for people subjected to the lead recall. That same year 12 other producers of toys also had to make lead related recalls.