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New toy recalls over lead

August 23, 2007|From Times Wire Services

Four U.S. toy companies recalled more than 340,000 products made in China including spinning Curious George tops and SpongeBob SquarePants journals because of lead-content levels that can be toxic for young children.

The paint on bindings of SpongeBob journals and address books can contain more lead than is safe, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday. Thomas & Friends tin pails, Children's Divine Inspiration charm bracelets and Toby & Me jewelry also have too much lead, it said.

No injuries have been reported to the companies, the agency said. The announcements come after Mattel Inc., the world's biggest toy maker, recalled more than 20 million Chinese-made items this month. China produces 80% of the toys sold in the U.S.

Since reports that some Chinese products are unsafe, China has defended the quality of its exports and pledged to improve controls.

Martin Designs Inc., based in Ashland, Ohio, is recalling about 250,000 SpongeBob SquarePants items that were sold between June 2006 and July 2007. The cartoon character appears on Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon cable television channel.

Surface paints on more than 70,000 spinning tops and tin pails may have excessive levels of lead and the toys should be returned. The items feature cartoon characters Thomas & Friends, Curious George and others and were imported by Schylling Associates Inc., based in Rowley, Mass. They were sold until July 2002.

Also recalled are charm bracelets distributed by Buy-Rite Designs Inc. of Freehold, N.J., and sold in dollar stores.

Jewelry sets distributed by New York-based Toby N.Y.C. and sold at TJX Cos.' T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and A.J. Wright locations should be returned, the consumer safety agency said.

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