Press Release
For Immediate Release
April 18 , 2008
 
Media Contact: Robyn Ziegler
312-814-3118
rziegler@atg.state.il.us
 

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

MADIGAN ALERTS CONSUMERS, CPSC TO UNSAFE KEYCHAINS SOLD AT WAL-MART

Chicago – Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced her office alerted the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to dangerous lead levels detected in hip-charm keychains manufactured exclusively for Wal-Mart stores. As a result, the CPSC and Wal-Mart issued a recall this morning, and the company has removed the product from store shelves. Attorney General Madigan urged parents to take away the “No Boundaries Hip Charm” keychain from their children immediately. Consumers can call 1-800-WAL-MART for additional information, including instructions on how to obtain a refund.

“Parents and other consumers should act quickly to ensure that children do not continue to have contact with this product,” Madigan said. “I am pleased that Wal-Mart has acted swiftly to remove the key chains from store shelves and offer refunds to consumers.”

The Attorney General began investigating after it was discovered that a 9-month old Macon County child with elevated blood lead levels had been playing with her mother’s keychain. A nurse from the Macon County Health Department performed a home inspection and noticed the child playing with the mother’s keychain. The nurse purchased a second hip-charm keychain at a Decatur Wal-Mart and an initial screening test for lead indicated that lead was present in both keychains.

Follow-up testing performed by an independent laboratory for the Attorney General’s office revealed that some of the charms contained lead up to as much as 700,000 parts per million. Attorney General 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. The Act is among the strongest lead laws in the country.

“There were 34 recalls of costume and children’s jewelry in 2007 for lead. This child’s story is a very real wake up call about the danger that costume jewelry can pose for children,” Attorney General Madigan said. “The consequences of children mouthing this jewelry or potentially swallowing small pieces of the jewelry can be devastating.”

Attorney General Madigan stressed that there are millions of individual items already in children's homes and places they visit that may pose a threat to children's safety. Wal-Mart sold 12,375 of the hip-charm keychains nationwide, approximately 1,000 of which were sold in Illinois since 2005

As part of her efforts to protect consumers from unsafe products, Madigan set up a recall hotline at 1-888-414-7678 to help callers identify recalled products in their homes and explain how to contact companies to repair or return affected products. Attorney General Madigan also publishes the Safe Shopping Guide, a 91-page color directory of hundreds of recalled children’s products. Free copies are available at the Attorney General’s main and regional offices and via mail by calling the hotline at 1-888-414-7678. Consumers may also download a copy from the Attorney General’s Web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

Consumers are also encouraged to sign up for e-mail alerts about the latest government recalls at www.recalls.gov

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