NEW YORK (Reuters) - Toys "R" Us Inc is recalling 27,000 wooden coloring cases that were made in China and sold under its Imaginarium brand because lead was found in the printed ink on the art set's outer packaging and in some watercolor paints.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which announced the recall on Thursday, said the 213-piece coloring set includes crayons, pastels, colored pencils and water colors that were packaged in a light tan wooden carrying case.
The printed ink on the outer packaging of the case contains lead, and some of the black watercolor paint contains excessive levels of lead, the agency said.
The cases were sold at the toy retailer's stores and on its Web site from October 2006 through August 2007 for about $20. Of the 27,000 cases that were recalled, Toys "R" Us said 8,300 were sold to customers during the recall period.
It marks the latest in a string of recalls of Chinese-made products due to lead paint, including Mattel Inc's recent recall of Pixar Sarge die-cast toy cars, and Sesame Street and Dora the Explorer toys.
Lead paint has been linked to health problems in children, including brain damage.
The spate of recalls has sparked concern over the quality of products made in China, and the U.S. House of Representatives' subcommittee on commerce, trade and consumer protection will also hold a September 19 hearing on how to protect U.S. children from toys, jewelry and other imported products containing lead paint.
Toys "R" Us said in a statement that the lead was found after it had an independent testing firm retest hundreds of products sold in its stores. The retailer said all Imaginarium-branded items passed the retest except for the wooden art set.
Toys "R" Us said it has terminated its relationship with Funtastic, a unit of FPL Group of Hong Kong, which manufactured and sold it the 213-piece set.
The CPSC said no injuries were reported from the Imaginarium coloring cases, and consumers should return them to Toys "R" Us for store credit.
Toys "R" Us is owned by a consortium that includes Bain Capital Partners LLC, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co and Vornado Realty Trust.
Additional reporting by Tenzin Pema in Bangalore