Groups say dangerous toys still on store shelves

Consumer interest groups say new tests on 50 toys sold last month at Wal-Mart, Target show 11 contained lead.

By Parija B. Kavilanz, senior writer

NEW YORK ( -- Tests conducted on some toys and other children's products sold recently at Wal-Mart, Target and Toys "R" Us stores were found to contain dangerously high levels of lead, consumer interest groups said Thursday.

The Clean Water Action, a Washington-based non-profit firm, said it tested 50 children's toys sold at those retailers and at Walgreens stores in Massachusetts in late September.

The CWA said 11 of those toys - some of which were made out of vinyl - contained lead, including two that contained "extremely high levels of lead."

The U.S. toy industry is reeling from a string of toy recalls this year. Over the summer, after toymakers Mattel (Charts, Fortune 500) and RC2 Corp. recalled millions of popular toys that were found to contain lead, a substance that can result in poisoning in young children if ingested.

Just this week, RC2 announced an additional recall of 200,000 of its Thomas & Friends wooden railway toys for lead paint concerns.

Danielle Connor with the CWA said the Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) standard for lead paint in toys is 600 parts per million (ppm).

She said two products, including a "Go Diego, Go" backpack sold at Target (Charts, Fortune 500) was found to contain 4,608.1 ppm of lead and a pair of Circo boots sold at Target contained 777 ppm of lead.

Other products, such as the "Lazy Baby" toy sold at Wal-Mart (Charts, Fortune 500), contained lower levels of lead, at 370 ppm.

Connor said she used the NITON XRF analyzers handheld lead detector for the toy tests. Thermo Fisher Scientific, which manufactures the device, says Panasonic is among some big manufacturers that have used it to test for hazardous substances in product components.

The CWA, in collaboration with the Center for Health, Environment and Justice and the Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition, said it was calling for a recall of the 11 products.

Toys "R" Us and Wal-Mart did not immediately comment on the report. Target could not reached for a response.

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