McCollum announces settlement on toys with heavy lead concentrations
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12/15/08 Mitch E. Perry
WMNF Drive-Time News Monday | Listen to this entire show:

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced Monday a settlement between the state and toy companies Mattel and Fisher-Price regarding excessive lead in surface paint in toys that will bring the state $587,000.

Last year, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled approximately two million Mattel and Fisher-Price toys manufactured in China. The commission said the toys contained excessive lead in surface paint, in some instances more than 83 times the legal level.

Overall, the two companies agreed to settle an investigation by making a $12 million payment to 39 states and complying with more stringent lead standards. McCollum said all toys manufactured after Nov. 30 will have surface paint lead levels no higher than 90 parts per million, a considerable drop from the old limit of 600 parts per million.

The companies said they will notify attorneys general within 90 days of a confirmation anytime they find lead in their toys in excess of 90 parts per million.

The attorney general of Florida detailed why lead toxicity is harmful. He said lead has been linked to seizures and even death in children.

"This has been a very serious problem nationwide with lead in toys," McCollum said.

When asked what would happen with the money awarded to Florida, McCollum said most of it would be used to pay the attorneys who worked on the case. He said the remainder will go to the economic crimes division for other investigations intended to protect consumers.

The attorney general said if parents are concerned about particular toys and their lead levels, they should contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission, accessible on the web at cpsc.gov.

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