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Kaptur says Mattel toy recalls reveal risks of imports from China

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The voluntary recall of more than nine million toys by California-based Mattel Corporation illustrates “the downside of doing business with China,” according to U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur. “From dog food to toothpaste to toys, we are learning daily the hidden cost of relying on a nation with lax safety standards and environmental regulations as a source of production,” said Congresswoman Kaptur, a longtime critic of NAFTA, CAFTA, and globalization without adequate standards in place.

Kaptur (OH-9) said consumers should stop using the recalled products immediately. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the massive voluntary recall by Mattel involving the following products: Polly Pocket Play Sets, Doggie Day Care Magnetic Toys, Barbie and Tanner Magnetic Toys, Die Cast Toy Cars, and Batman, One Piece Magnetic Action Figure Sets.

All or almost all the toys involved in the recall were manufactured in China and imported into the U.S. by Mattel.  More than 80 percent of all toys worldwide are made in China. Some of the toys are made with small magnets that can come loose.  The magnets can be found by young children and swallowed or aspirated. If more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal.

The recall of the die cast toy cars stemmed from a possible excess of lead paint.  The recall of the Sarge brand toy cars was the second incident in two weeks involving lead paint.  Earlier this month, the Consumer Product Safety Commission warned consumers about 1.5 million toys from China that might contain lead paint.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Polly Pocket play sets contain plastic dolls and accessories with magnets that measure one-eighth inch in diameter and are embedded in the hands and feet of some dolls, and in the plastic clothing, hairpieces and other accessories to help the pieces attach to the doll or to the doll’s house. The model number is printed on the bottom of the largest pieces on some of the play sets. Products manufactured after November 1, 2006 and are currently on store shelves are not included in this recall.

The 253,000 Sarge brand toy cars might contain levels of lead in excess of U.S. federal standards. The 2 1/2-inch, 1-inch high car resembles a military Jeep. The recalled toy has the markings “7EA” and “China” on the bottom. Cars marked “Thailand” are not involved in the recall.

Also recalled were 345,000 Batman and “One Piece” action figures, 683,000 Barbie and Tanner play sets, and 1 million Doggie Day Care play sets.

The Barbie and Tanner play sets have a small magnet inside the “scooper” accessory that can come loose. Recalled scoopers have a visible, silver-colored, disc-shaped magnet on the end of the scooper. Scoopers with a white material covering the magnet and products manufactured after January 31, 2007 are not recalled.

For more information, go to: Consumer Product Safety Commission:  www.cpsc.gov, or Mattel: www.mattel.com/safety/us/ 






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