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June 8th, 2009
10:12 AM ET

Toymaker Pays the Price

From Sabriya Rice
Medical Producer

Toymaker Mattel Corp. agreed Friday to pay $2.3 million in civil penalties for violating a federal lead paint ban that resulted in the recall of millions of popular-branded toys in 2007. Surface paints on the toys could contain excessive levels of lead, which if ingested by young children can cause adverse health effects. There are usually no symptoms of lead poisoning until the level of lead in the blood is very high. Chronic exposure can lead to symptoms like stomachaches, cramping, constipation, nausea, unexplained fatigue and muscle weakness.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the fine was the highest ever for the agency's regulated product violations and the third largest in its history. See a list of the recalled items here.


Filed under: Heidi Collins
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. Al

    Ask yourself this; Were your grandparents retarted? There IQ's were probably the same or higher than yours. That's not to say it's not dangerous. But we lived in a lead world. Gas.paint,toys ect. .

    June 8, 2009 at 10:34 am |
  2. dan in Tucson

    GOOD! Serves them right for using outsourcing that results in inferior product manufacturing. I hope they go out of business. All corporations should take note that you get what you pay for. Save a dollar and kill some children. Sounds like a psychopathic greedy corporation to me.

    June 8, 2009 at 11:58 am |
  3. RJ

    Well its a start! Thats what they get for knowingly outsource materials and labor to a country who has no interest in things that can harm us and the environment. That should be a wake up call for all industry doing business in Communist China! Want some stimulas money there you go start fining the crap out of these American businesses that are reaping all that extra profit from slave labor in China and bring down this defiect or make better decisions on who where they want to set up their shops and factories! We have to be traders in the world but it has to be fair or Americans will always get the short end!

    June 8, 2009 at 1:42 pm |
  4. Charles L. Hopkins, SR.

    This is what happens when the government and big business allow American jobs to be outsourced. And let US not forget about the disloyal American public who would rather support foreign countries and businesses with their hard earned American dollars. Foreign countries kill or injure our children and adults, take our jobs and get paid for this without having to fire a single shot.

    June 8, 2009 at 2:19 pm |
  5. Sharon McEachern

    In addition to the $2.3 million Mattel is paying in civil penalities, last December the toymaker agreed to pay $12 million to 39 states to settle claims that it shipped boys tainted with lead paint. These two amounts may sound like a lot of money, but look again. Mattel is the world's largest toy manufacturer and last year had $6 billion in revenues. The barbie line alone accounts for 80 percent of the company's profits. So the settlement and penality monies are a mere drop in Barbie's beach bucket.

    Ethic Soup blog has a good article on Mattel and its tsunami of toxic toys at:

    http://www.ethicsoup.com/2008/12/toy-giant-mattel-settles-with-38-states-for-tainted-leadpainted-toys.html

    June 8, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  6. Sharon McEachern

    Slight correction to previous comment - Mattel did not ship tainted "boys," but rather "toys," leaving Barbie's Ken out of it, as Barbie decided years ago.

    June 8, 2009 at 2:53 pm |
  7. Charlie Erickson

    Anything for a buck ! Capitalism at it's finest.

    Regulations everywhere, is a must ! Capitalism is great, but unchecked Capitalism is a danger to everything and everyone; including itself.

    Charlie.

    June 9, 2009 at 8:15 am |

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