For Immediate Release
MADIGAN REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH MANUFACTURERS AND DISTRIBUTOR OF CHILDREN’S LUNCH BAGS CONTAINING ILLEGAL AMOUNTS OF LEAD
Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced an agreement with three companies involved in the manufacture and distribution of children’s lunch bags which contain amounts of lead in excess of the limits in Illinois law. Under this agreement, the companies will accept returns of the lunch bags, provide refunds to consumers, properly dispose of the bags, and establish procedures to ensure future compliance with the laws.
Madigan reached the agreement with Global Advantage Trading and Imports, LLC, a manufacturer of children’s lunch bags, Sky High International, LLC, a former manufacturer of these bags, and D.F. Manufacturing, Inc., a distributor of children’s lunch bags.
Between January 2005 and November 2005, Global Advantage’s lunch bags were sold in Walgreens’ drugstores and Sky High International’s lunch bags were sold in Kmart stores throughout Illinois. During that same time period, D.F. Manufacturing sold lunch bags to a retailer who distributed them from trucks at various itinerate locations throughout Illinois.
Lead is a toxic metal that can cause neurological and developmental damage in children. The Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act bans the sale of any product containing more than 600 parts per million of lead.
An investigation by Madigan’s office and the Chicago Department of Public Health revealed that some of these vinyl lunch bags contained lead. Specifically, laboratory tests determined that the following lunch bags contained amounts of lead exceeding the limits in the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act:
As part of the resolution of this investigation, Global Advantage, D.F. Manufacturing, and Sky High have agreed to voluntarily accept returns from consumers and retail stores and to provide refunds to consumers.
Additionally, Global Advantage and D.F. Manufacturing have agreed to establish procedures to prevent the companies from selling or distributing products that violate the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. Sky High, which no longer manufactures lunch bags, has agreed to refrain from the business of selling and distributing lunch bags in Illinois which violate the Lead Poisoning Prevention Act. All three companies have agreed to dispose of all voluntarily returned lunch bags in accordance with Illinois’ environmental rules.
“It is crucial that children’s products containing amounts of lead in violation of Illinois law be taken off the shelves and out of the hands of young children,” Madigan said.
Consumers may obtain a refund by returning the lunch bags directly to the manufacturer by the end of February 2007 with a Refund Request form. This form is available from the Illinois Attorney General’s Office. Consumers may visit the Illinois Attorney General’s website, http://www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov/, to obtain a Refund Request Form and instructions for returning a lunch bag to Global Advantage, D.F. Manufacturing, or Sky High.
Consumers also may call:
Global Advantage, toll free, at 1-800-459-3140, with questions about returning the horizontal lunch kit,
For more information on the effects of lead in children, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health’s website at www.idph.state.il.us and the Chicago Department of Public Health’s website at www.cityofchicago.org.
The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Monica Grubbs of the Consumer Fraud Bureau and Assistant Attorney General Vanessa Vail of the Environmental Protection Bureau with the assistance of the Chicago Department of Public Health.