Press Release
For Immediate Release
June 27, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

*****CONSUMER ALERT*****CONSUMER ALERT*****

MADIGAN WARNS OF LEAD EXPOSURE FROM “THOMAS AND FRIENDS” WOODEN RAILWAY TOYS

Attorney General Alerts Consumers to Recall of Popular Children’s Product

Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today is alerting consumers to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) recall of 1.5 million “Thomas and Friends” wooden railway toys.  The recall, issued on June 13, 2007, involves 26 different products in the Thomas line, including several versions of the “Red James Engine” and “Red James Coal Tender.”  The items were sold nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007 for between $10 and $70.

CPSC recalled the toys after determining that the surface paint on the toys contains lead.  Children often mouth or chew on toys and if that were to occur with this product, a child could ingest the paint and be at risk for lead poisoning.  Lead poisoning has been known to cause learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders and behavior problems in children.

“This is a beloved children’s toy and I want to make sure that parents and other care givers know that children playing with these toys are being exposed to lead paint,” said Attorney General Madigan.

Investigators from the Attorney General’s office are now in the process of checking retail establishments throughout the state to make sure that the recalled “Thomas and Friends” products have been removed from store shelves. 

“We are working to make sure that children’s products with lead paint are taken off of Illinois store shelves,” Madigan added.

Consumers can find a list of the recalled items at the CPSC website, www.cpsc.gov, or by going to www.recalls.gov.  A list of the recalled products is also available from the distributor, RC2 Corporation located in Oak Brook.  That information is available at www.recalls.rc2.com.

Recalled items have the logo “Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway” in the upper left hand corner.   It is important to note, however, that products with this logo that also have a “WJ” or “AZ” on the bottom of the product or inside the battery cover are not included in the recall.

Consumers who have the toys should ensure that children do not have access to them.  Consumers can obtain a replacement toy from RC2 Corporation by contacting the company toll free at (866) 725-4407 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. CDT, Monday through Thursday.  On Friday, the toll-free number is available from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. CDT.

Madigan’s office enforces the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, which prohibits the sale of toys, clothing, jewelry or any other product intended to be used by children that contains lead in excess of 600 parts per million.  Additionally, Madigan’s office is responsible for enforcing the Illinois Children’s Product Safety Act, which requires retailers to remove recalled products from store shelves and post recall notices for 120 days.   

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the 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 toys can be a significant source 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).

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