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Mattel recalls 18m China toys
Toy giant cites choking and lead poisoning risks in second safety warning in two weeks.
Last updated: 15 Aug 2007 01:05
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Play sets with magnets that can come loose are among the products recalled by Mattel [AP]
Leading toy manufacturer Mattel has recalled more than 18 million China-made toys that present a choking risk to children or have high levels of lead.
 
The largest of Tuesday's product recalls is of 18 million toys which contain magnets that can come loose, including Polly Pocket, Batman, Doggie Day Care and One Piece play sets.
Nearly 500,000 Sarge toy cars coated with paint containing lead have also been recalled worldwide by the American company.
 
The recall is Mattel's second in two weeks. Earlier this month, consumers were warned about 1.5 million Chinese-made toys that contain lead paint.

No injuries

 

The play-set recalls were announced on Mattel's website, while the warning over the die-cast cars was announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington.

 

Nancy A Nord, acting CPSC chairman, said no injuries had been reported with any of the products involved in the recall.

 

"The scope of these recalls is intentionally large to prevent any injuries from occurring," she said.

 

The toy industry has issued several recalls for products made in China in recent weeks.

 

More than 80 per cent of toys sold worldwide are made in China, and the string of recalls had prompted nervousness among toy retailers that shoppers will not purchase their products.

 

Parental appeal

 

Mattel ran a full-page advertisement on Tuesday in several US newspapers, in which it appealed to parents that the company was "working extremely hard to address your concerns and continue creating safe, entertaining toys for you and your children."

 

 Nearly 500,000 Sarge toy cars coated with lead
paint have been recalled worldwide [AP]
Lead is a toxic substance. Under current regulations, children's products found to have more than 0.06 per cent lead must be recalled.

 

"There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country," Nord said.

 

"It's totally unacceptable and it needs to stop."

 

The CPSC reported that in the previous recall of Polly Pocket play sets last November, three children had been injured by swallowing magnets that had worked loose from the toy.

 

Previous recall

 

Two weeks ago, Mattel's Fisher-Price division recalled 1.5 million Chinese-made toys distributed worldwide, citing concerns over levels of lead paint in its products.

 

Mattel launched an investigation into all of its factories in China and discovered the latest problem during that investigation, Nord said.

 

Chinese officials temporarily banned Lee Der Industrial Company, the toys' manufacturer, from exporting products after the recall was issued.

 

Cheung Shu-hung, a Lee Der co-owner, committed suicide at a warehouse over the weekend, apparently by hanging himself, a state-run newspaper reported on Monday.

Source:
Agencies
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