Press Release
For Immediate Release
November 8, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

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

AQUA DOTS RECALLED AMID REPORTS OF CHILDREN FALLING ILL

Madigan Working with School Principals and Retailers to Ensure Toys are No Longer in Use

Chicago – Following the Wednesday recall of nearly 4.2 million Aqua Dots toys sold nationwide, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, working with the Illinois Principals Association (IPA) and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA), alerted school principals, retailers, parents and consumers to the potential dangers of these toys and called on retailers to check to make sure the toys are no longer on store shelves in Illinois. The Aqua Dots beads contain a toxic chemical that, when ingested, reportedly mimics the effects of the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate (known as the “date rape drug”), causing victims to experience respiratory depression or seizures, or to lapse into comas.

The recall of all Aqua Dots models, which was announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), follows the discovery of at least two children in the United States who fell into comas after swallowing the small colored beads.

“Unfortunately, we continue to learn about toxic toys that have managed to find their way into our homes where they pose serious health risks to children,” Madigan said. “This latest toy recall yet again indicates there is a serious gap in our federal monitoring process that is shifting the burden to parents and retailers to keep up on the growing number of products that endanger children's safety.”

Madigan urged parents to take away the craft kits and associated parts immediately and to contact the Toronto-based distributor Spin Master to request free replacement beads or another product of equal value.

Because this product may be used in arts and crafts programs in schools, Madigan is working with IPA to alert school administrators of the recall.

“The Illinois Principals Association is pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Attorney General Madigan and IRMA to ensure the safety of students throughout the state of Illinois ,” said Jason Leahy, executive director of IPA. “We ask for school administrators throughout Illinois to do whatever is necessary to make families and students aware of the danger this product poses.”

Madigan also is working with IRMA to inform retailers of the recall and to ensure compliance so consumers do not mistakenly purchase this product.

“We have contacted our member retailers to ensure they have the information necessary to notify the public to prevent this product from being purchased following the recall,” said David F. Vite, president of IRMA.

The recalled toy, which was manufactured in China , is a craft kit that children can use to create multi-dimensional designs using small colored beads that fuse together when sprayed with water. The kits include accessories such as a drying fan, applicator pen, design templates for the beads and a spray bottle. The product is labeled for ages 4+ and has been sold at retail outlets nationwide since April for between $17 and $30.

For more information about this and other recalled products, consumers should call the Attorney General's recall hotline, launched in October to provide consumers with ready access to information about the latest product recalls. The recall hotline (1-888-414-7678) helps

callers identify recalled products in their homes and learn how to contact companies to repair or return affected products.

“As consumers prepare for the holiday season, it is imperative that they become aware of these potentially dangerous products,” Madigan said. “Our recall hotline is another resource to keep consumers up-to-date on the latest recalls before they make their holiday purchases.”

In 2005, the Illinois General Assembly passed new amendments to the Illinois Children's Product Safety Act requiring manufacturers and retail merchants to post recall notices both in their stores and on their Web sites. The recall notification process was further strengthened by requiring manufacturers and retail merchants to alert – by e-mail or mail – Illinois consumers who purchased recalled children's products online. Illinois was the first state to enact such comprehensive child safety notification measures.

Consumers can contact Spin Master at (800) 622-8339 or at www.aquadotsrecall.com .

Madigan urges all Illinois consumers to sign up for e-mail notification of recalls at www.cpsc.gov .

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