MADIGAN ANNOUNCES ILLINOIS RECALL OF VINYL
Chicago –Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced today the voluntary recall of three styles of Baby Connection baby bibs sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores because they contain levels of lead in the vinyl that exceed the Illinois standard for lead in children’s products. The Attorney General has obtained a voluntary recall agreement with Wal-Mart and the bibs’ supplier. The product has been removed from Wal-Mart store shelves and arrangements to reimburse customers or offer a replacement for the bibs are in place.
“Illinois families have a right to know the products they use around their youngest family members are safe,” said Attorney General Madigan. “There is no place on Illinois store shelves for any lead-laced products – especially those that come into contact with our babies.”
Recalled bibs feature a vinyl front with a cloth backing or a cloth front with vinyl backing and come in a variety of colorful designs including some with Sesame Street characters. The recalled bibs were sold from June 2004 to March 29, 2007 at Wal-Mart stores throughout Illinois ranging in price from $2 to $7 and typically sold in packs of two or seven. Many of the bibs have a tag sewn into the lining that contains the UPC number. UPC numbers affected by this recall are: #1468102732, #1468152705 and #1468151077.
Madigan recommends, out of an exercise of caution, that parents stop using these bibs to prevent unnecessary cumulative exposure to lead. Consumers can return bibs to Wal-Mart for a full refund or may call 1-877-373-3812 to receive a comparable replacement bib from the supplier,. Consumers do not need to provide a receipt to receive a refund or replacement bib. If consumers wish to receive additional information from Wal-Mart regarding the refund they can call Wal-Mart’s toll free hotline at 1-800-925-6278.
As a result of the voluntary recall announced today, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a simultaneous alert today to assist in bringing this issue to the public’s attention. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office commends the Consumer Product Safety Commission for issuing a simultaneous alert today and for bringing this issue to the public’s attention.
The Illinois Attorney General’s Office and the Chicago Department of Public Health, in conjunction with the New York Attorney General’s Office, began investigating after the Center for Environmental Health, a California consumer advocacy group, informed the Attorney General’s Office of allegations that lead existed in the bibs. Madigan’s office purchased and the Chicago Department of Public Health tested various styles of Baby Connection vinyl bibs obtained from several Wal-Mart stores throughout Illinois. Three styles tested positive for total lead in excess of 600 parts per million, the Illinois standard for lead in children’s products.
As part of her efforts to protect Illinois children from the dangers of lead exposure, Madigan has obtained a commitment from Wal-Mart to seek industry-wide changes to reduce lead in children’s products. Wal-Mart has put plans in place to only provide and sell PVC-free baby bibs as soon as possible. In addition, Wal-Mart has committed to support an industry standard that would eliminate PVC from children’s products and establish a maximum safe lead level for children’s products. Madigan commends Wal-Mart on its cooperation in this matter and its efforts in recalling these bibs.
“No level of lead is safe for children,” said Anita Weinberg, chair, Lead Safe Illinois, housed at Loyola University ChildLaw Center. “Children encounter lead through a wide variety of ways—toys, peeling paint, and jewelry. These sources all add up and can lead to significant accumulation in a child’s body. This is the right decision for Illinois’ children.”
Polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC or vinyl, is a soft plastic used in many consumer products. Lead is commonly used as an ingredient in vinyl to help keep the vinyl stable, softer and more durable.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood lead poisoning is considered to be the most preventable environmental disease impacting young children. While children are most commonly exposed to lead from lead-based paints in older homes, other items such as tainted toys, food and water can be significant sources of lead exposure for children.
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 or contact the Chicago Department of Public Health hotline for general lead concerns at 312-747-LEAD (5323).