Mattel adds to recall of millions of lead-painted toys

In yet another blow to Big Toy, Mattel Inc. yesterday recalled some 9 million China-made playthings. While most were sets containing potentially swallowable magnets, the toymaker also pulled 253,000 lead-painted die-cast cars. Earlier this month, Mattel pulled an additional 1.5 million toys thought to be colored with lead paint, the first time it had ever issued a recall due to that toxic substance; the dangerous-toy recall boom kicked off in June with RC2’s pullback of 1.5 million lead-painted Thomas the Tank Engine trains. All of the recalled toys originated in China, as did nearly all of the 6.7 million pieces of lead-painted children’s jewelry recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission earlier this year. China produces about 80 percent of children’s toys sold in the U.S. “There is no excuse for lead to be found in toys entering this country,” says acting CPSC chairperson Nancy Nord. “It’s totally unacceptable and it needs to stop.” And soon — the holiday shopping season is nigh!