Press Release
For Immediate Release
November 21, 2007
 
Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
877-844-5461 (TTY)
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

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

ATTORNEY GENERAL WARNS CONSUMERS OF POTENTIAL LEAD POISONING HAZARD IN CHILDREN'S JEWELRY AND PENCILS

Chicago - Attorney General Lisa Madigan today warned consumers that her office has discovered high levels of lead present in children's jewelry sold by Claire's Boutiques Inc. and pencils manufactured by Amscan, Inc.

Madigan urged parents to take away the affected jewelry and pencils from their children immediately, while her office negotiates with Claire's and Amscan. The Attorney General's office purchased the jewelry at Claire's Boutiques and the pencils at Party City locations throughout the state and sent the products to an accredited Chicago lab for testing. The results of the testing revealed that the jewelry and pencils contained high levels of lead. Both companies have agreed to remove the products from Illinois store shelves during the negotiations, and Claire's Boutiques indicated consumers who have already purchased the affected products can return them to Claire's retail outlets for refunds.

“Parents and consumers should act quickly to ensure that children do not continue to have contact with a product that contains high levels of lead,” Madigan said. “I am calling on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to issue an immediate recall to get these products off store shelves and away from our children.”

Madigan said the Canadian government recalled the pencils manufactured by Amscan, Inc., on Sept. 1 due to high lead levels that could put children at risk of lead poisoning if the products are chewed, sucked or swallowed.

“The recall in Canada indicates there is a serious problem here. The CPSC must do everything in its power to ensure American children are equally protected from these dangerous products,” Madigan said.

The affected Claire's jewelry includes the following accessories. Based on testing, the following lead levels were revealed:

  • Claire's Necklace with Large Heart and Stars Pendant, 92543-8 (05-06 187), 130,000 ppm of lead
  • Claire's Club Silver Tiara Hair Clip, 52879-4 (12-12 277), 45,000 ppm
  • Claire's Club Silver “Princess” Bracelet, 23077-1 (12-02 246), 21,000 ppm
  • Disney Charm Necklace with Large Heart Pendant and Small Little Mermaid Charm, 66304-7 (12-14 227), 4,100 ppm
  • Disney Charm Necklace with Large Heart Pendant and Small Sleeping Beauty Charm, 66304-7 (12-14 227), 3,400 ppm

The affected Amscan-manufactured pencils include:

  • Frog and Lizard Favor Set (0-48419-61459-3,) 11,000 ppm
  • Baseball Championship Favor Set (0-48419-61479-1), 3,200 ppm
  • Soccer Ball Championship Favor Set (0-48419-61477-7), 3,100 ppm
  • Basketball Championship Favor Set (0-48419-61492-0), 2,100 ppm
  • Football Championship Favor Set (0-48419-61496-8), 1,500 ppm
  • Safari Party Favor Set (0-48419-61461-6), 1,500 ppm
  • Fashion Fun Favor Set (0-48419-61469-2), 1,200 ppm
  • Underwater Friend Favor Set (0-48419-61460-9), 950 ppm

For more information about recalled products, consumers should call the Attorney General's recall hotline, which the Attorney General launched in October to keep consumers informed 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. Consumers are also encouraged to sign up for more information about the latest government recalls at www.recalls.gov .

Madigan's office enforces the Illinois Lead Poisoning Prevention Act, which prohibits the sale of toys, clothing, jewelry or any other product intended for use by children that contains lead in excess of 600 parts per million.

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 jewelry and toys can be a significant source of lead exposure for children and teens

For more information on the effects of lead in children, please visit the Illinois Department of Public Health's Web site at www.idph.state.il.us and the Chicago Department of Public Health's Web site 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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Note to media: Images available for downloading at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov


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