Safety agency issues new batch of toy recalls

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - More recalls of lead-tainted toys made in China were announced on Wednesday by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, including 380,000 toy cars sold at Dollar General stores.

A “Big Red” Wagon in an image released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission on November 7, 2007. REUTERS/Handout

Other warnings included smaller recalls of Dizzy Ducks music boxes, Winnie-the-Pooh spinning tops, “Big Red” wagons, Dragster and Funny Car toys, and Duck Family collectible wind-up toys, all because of paint with unsafe levels of lead.

Millions of similar toy recalls, most involving Chinese-made products, have alarmed American consumers in recent months. Lead is toxic and can pose serious health risks to children, including brain damage.

The new batch of recalls totaled about 403,000 toys. No injuries were reported, the safety commission said.

U.S. lawmakers have proposed legislation that would virtually ban lead in toys and give the product safety agency more funding for testing, recalls and enforcement. They have also criticized the safety agency’s acting chairman, Nancy Nord, for accepting industry-funded trips.

The toy cars recalled Wednesday were sold at Dollar General retail stores from April through October this year for about $1 per pack of two or four cars. Consumers should return the toy cars to a Dollar General store for a refund.

Schylling Associates Inc of Rowley, Massachusetts, recalled 3,500 Duck Family collectible wind-up toys, 1,300 Dizzy Ducks music boxes, and 3,600 Winnie-the-Pooh spinning tops. All were sold at U.S. specialty toy stores and gift shops.

Related Coverage

The duck wind-up toys were sold from January through August 2007 for about $8. They include a large tin wind-up duck, which pulls three little ducks.

The duck music boxes were sold from March through October 2007 for about $12. The toy is a wind-up music box with ducks that spin as the music plays.

The recalled Winnie-the-Pooh spinning tops are related to a similar recall in August, and includes toys sold from April 2003 through November 2003 nationwide for about $12.

The toy is primarily metal and has wooden handles, and is printed with Winnie-the-Pooh characters.

Tops with plastic handles are not included in this recall, the safety agency said. Consumers can contact Schylling for a refund or replacement.

Northern Tool & Equipment Co of Burnsville, Minnesota, recalled about 7,200 “Big Red” wagons, which were sold through the company’s catalog Web site and U.S. retail stores from July through September 2007 for about $60.

Slideshow ( 4 images )

Customers can return the wagons to a Northern Tool store for a free replacement.

International Sourcing Ltd recalled about 7,500 Dragster and Funny Car toys sold at National Hot Rod Association events through Schumacher Racing, and by Matco Tools through door-to-door sales from March through September 2007.

Consumers can return the cars to International Sourcing for a full refund or replacement product.

Also on Wednesday, Spin Master Ltd of Toronto recalled its Aqua Dots toys from North American retailers after a similar line of toys called Bindeez was recalled in Australia. At least three children were hospitalized in Australia after swallowing beads from the toy that contain a chemical that converts into the sedating drug GHB when swallowed.

Spin Master, which distributes Aqua Dots in North America, said in a statement it stopped shipping the item and was trying to identify any shipments that could be included in a recall by U.S. and Canadian officials.