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Lead Found in 'Save the Children' Mugs

October 29, 1998

State health officials are warning consumers to stop using "Save the Children" mugs because they contain high levels of lead.

The mugs, manufactured in China, have been sold mainly at Ross Dress for Less stores.

Customers who have been drinking from the 20-ounce mugs, decorated with Popsicle Faces or Here Comes Santa designs, are advised to contact their local health provider to have their blood tested, said Ken August, a spokesman for the California Department of Health Services.

"The federal Food and Drug Administration determined that the lead levels in the lip and rim area were 21.6 parts per million in the Popsicle Faces mug and 57 ppm for the Santa mug," August said. Effective April 1, the new federal voluntary standard will be 4 ppm.

August said there have been no reports of individuals becoming sick after drinking from the mugs, which a Ross spokeswoman said were removed from shelves as soon as the store was notified of the problem.

Symptoms of high levels of lead exposure include stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, irritability and headache, he said.

"We were notified last week by the Department of Health Services and we immediately removed any remaining product from our shelves," said Katie Loughnot, a Ross spokeswoman.

August said the manufacturer, Tien Shan Corp. of China, and the distributor, Centrum Corp. of Norwalk, Conn., are recalling the mugs.

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