LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News Volume 7 No 4, 2000, ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Leaded Consumer Product Recalls
Australia and the USA Compared

Four Australian Leaded Consumer Product Recalls

Information compiled from the federal Consumer Affairs website.
by Kate Hayter, President, Hunter LEAD Group

WEEDA TANKARD – Copper Plated Souvenir was recalled from 30 June 1988 because "acidic liquids can cause lead to leach in certain circumstances. One known lead poisoning in Alice Springs." Sold nationally and supplied by Weeda Tasmania. File closed 20 Jan 1993. Success rate on recall - NOT STATED.

PLAYGYM – model PGY0110 was recalled from 22 Feb 1989 because "Red paint on the PLAYGYM contains more than 11 times the accepted level of lead." Sold nationally, supplied by Action Trampolines and Gymnastic Equipment. File closed on 28 November 1989 with 20% recall SUCCESS RATE.

BLINDS – Spotlight PVC Mini Venetian were recalled from 10 July 1996 because these blinds may contain unhealthy levels of lead." Sold nationally, supplied by Spotlight Store Pty. Ltd. [Spotlight provided an exchange - a leaded blind for a non-leaded blind - even for PVC miniblinds not purchased from Spotlight. It is curious why this recall only applied to Spotlight when leaded PVC miniblinds were widely available from a range of homeware, hardware and department stores.] File closed 29 Jan 1997. Success rate on recall - NOT STATED.

BRITDIS TEAPOT was recalled nationally from 2 Feb 1999 because it was "produced with lead solder. Does not comply with Clause 24 of the Food (General) Regulation 1997 with respect to leachable lead." This product posed a medium risk of lead poisoning. Britdis teapots were sold nationally and supplied by Zyliss Aust. Pty. Ltd. File closed 24 June 1999. Success rate on recall - NOT STATED.

[BRITDIS TEAPOT -  7 April 2003  it was claimed by United Housewares that shortly after the recall there was a change of manufacturer and lead was no longer used.]

For information on Australian leaded product recalls, go to the website http://www.recalls.gov.au/
For comprehensive information on US leaded product recalls go to http://www.cpsc.gov/  
and to comment on the petition to ban leaded candle wicks in the USA, go to http://www.cpsc.gov/businfo/frnotices/fr00/wicks.html


USA Leaded Consumer Product Recalls 
The US CPSC banned lead core wick candles on 7th April 2003, if you search the US CPSC website for the phrase "due to lead", the Google current site search results show 50 consumer products recalled due to lead poisoning hazards. But the full list of  consumer product recalls by the CPSC due to lead poisoning hazards is most easily viewed at http://www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/lead/recalls.shtml where recalls are listed by year as follows: 2 recalls in 2002, 5 recalls in 2003, 4 in 2004, 11 in 2005, 20 in 2006 and 27 recalls to date in 2007.
The Centers for Disease Control have put all the products recalled in the US for lead hazards since 2004 on one page (approximately 80 different products) and also lists the products by categories (toys, crafts, clothing, office equipment etc.).
See www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/Recalls/default.htm

More Australian Leaded Consumer Product Recalls

In Australia, lead testing of consumer products is far less common and it is impractical to search the list of consumer product recalls at http://www.recalls.gov.au because the search engine on the site cannot be searched on the basis of the reason for recall and no standard phrase such as "due to lead" "lead hazard" "lead paint" or "lead poisoning" is used in the recall notices and "lead" appears in the common phrases "may lead to" and "lead to injury" etc.

The Australian recalls that have come to The LEAD Group's attention since the four listed above (as at April 2000) are:

5. Conscious Candle Company Groovy Candle recalled because they may contain lead in the wicks. Date: 20/12/2000. Supplier Name: Target Australia Pty Ltd. National recall. Product Info: 3-wick Conscious Candles sold through Target & Target Home Stores from June 1999 to 1 November 2000. The candles are 15cm high, 15cm diameter and are cream or dark brown in colour. Vertical grooves along the sides are a distinguishing feature. Return to store for refund.

6. The Lead Soldier Collection: Men at War 1914-1945, due to high lead content. Date: 08/08/2001. Supplier Name: Gordon and Gotch Pty Ltd. National recall. Option: return the soldiers and place an order with your newsagent for an identical replacement soldier made of Fine Pewter.

7. Zen Candles recalled because they contain lead wicks. Date: 15/10/2001. Supplier Name: Everything Here $2 Store. Product Info: Zen Candles are small Pot shaped candles with Chinese letters on the side. White with Black writing, and Red with Black writing. Sold at Everything Here $2 stores in NSW, Vic, and SA. Return to store for refund.

8. Pollyresin Frog Figurine with Candle recalled nationally because the candle sold with frog figurine has an unacceptable lead content in the wick. Date: 18/09/2003. Supplier Name: Bonnet Imports Pty Limited. Product Info: Item 5633. Consumer action: Consumers should either replace the candle, or return the product to the place of purchase for a refund. For further information contact Bonnet Imports Pty Limited on Phone (02) 9531 8377 or email [email protected]

9. White Wings cornflour 300 G recalled because it contains lead above the level permitted in the Food Standards Code. Date: 27/07/2004. Supplier Name: White Wings Foods. Product Info: Best before dates: 30/09/04; 01/10/04;02/10/04; 07/10/04; 08/10/04; 09/10/04; and 10/10/04 APN:9310060006432 TUN:29310060701720 Cardboard packet 300 g Country of origin: New Zealand. Product packed by Bluebird Foods a division of Goodman Fielder Cons. Return to store for refund.

10. Russell Hobbs Mona Kettle recalled nationally due to the possibility that the kettle may leak lead into the water. Date: 15/03/2005. Supplier Name: Russell Hobbs. Product Info: Russell Hobbs Mona Kettle Model 3022 (polished stainless steel) and model 3023 (Brushed stainless steel). Available in Australia since June 2003. Consumer action: Stop using the Russell Hobbs Mona Kettle immediately and contact the Salton customer service department on 1800 190 400 for instructions on receiving a refund.

11. Select Thomas and Friends Wooden Railway Brand Products recalled due to surface paint containing lead. Date: 13/06/2007. Supplier Name: RC2 trading as Learning Curve Australia. Product Info: 

  • Brown and Yellow Old Slow Coach
  • Deluxe Sodor Fire Station
  • Red "Sodor Mail" Car
  • Red Baggage Car
  • Red Coal Car
  • Red Fire Brigade Train and/or Truck
  • Red Water Tanker Truck
  • Red Hook & Ladder Truck
  • James Engine &/or #5 Tender
  • James Engine &/or #5 Tender with Team Colours
  • Lights & Sounds James Engine &/or #5 Tender
  • Red Musical Caboose
  • Red Skarloey Engine
  • Red Sodor Line Caboose
  • Red Stop Sign
  • Yellow "Sodor Cargo Co." Cargo Piece
  • Yellow & Green Box Car
  • Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign

sold in Australia between January 2005 and November 2006. Full pictures of recalled items can be viewed at www.rc2aust.com.au. Return to store for replacement item and free toy vehicle. 

UPDATE as at 2nd August 2007.

12. Fisher-Price Licensed Character Toys recalled globally due to being painted with lead paint. See www.recalls.gov.au for the list of model names and numbers recalled in Australia. All affected toys are marked Fisher-Price and have a date code between 109-7LF and 187-7LF marked on the product. Consumers should immediately take any affected toys away from children and contact Mattel Pty Ltd on toll-free 1800 674 753 between Monday to Friday 8am until 5pm (Australian EST) or visit www.service.mattel.com to determine if product is affected and to arrange for the return of affected toys. Do not return recalled product to retail stores. Consumers will receive cash refunds to the value of the returned product.

UPDATE as at 14th August 2007

13. A further 400,000 die-cast cars modelled after the Cars cartoon movie character “Sarge“ that contains excessive amounts of lead paint have been added to the list of recalls by Mattel

UPDATE as at 5 September 2007

14. A total of six toys are being voluntarily recalled in Australia, including five pet and furniture playsets sold under the Barbie® brand and one Fisher-Price® toy, due to impermissible levels of lead.
Surface paint on the toys may contain increased levels of lead, which if ingested, may have health ramifications. There have been no reports of injuries involving the affected products in Australia or overseas. The five Mattel® Barbie®-branded toys being recalled in Australia were sold between November 2006 and August 2007 and contain the following model numbers: K8606 - Barbie® Table & Chairs Kitchen Playset, Accessory Affected: yellow food on two dinner plates; Brown on miniature dog; and orange on potato chip bowl; Orange on salad bowl. K8607 Barbie® Bathtub & Toilet Playset, Accessory Affected: Brown paint on miniature cat. K8608 Barbie® Living Room Playset, Accessory Affected: Brown paint on miniature cat. K8609 Barbie® Desk & Chair Bedroom Playset, Accessory Items Affected: Brown paint on miniature dog, and K8613 Barbie® Living Room Playset, Accessory Affected: Yellow flowers on handbag.
NO Barbie® dolls are included within the recall.
Mattel® is also recalling the Fisher-Price® GEOTRAX™ Rail & Road System Freightway Transport™ toy, which contains the following model numbers: B4342 or H5705. Affected Item: Yellow headlights on train & miniature ladder. The affected toy was manufactured between July 31, 2006 and September 4, 2006.

Update as at 5 June 2009:

NEWS from CPSC Mattel, Fisher-Price to Pay $2.3 Million Civil Penalty for Violating US Federal Lead Paint Ban.

Consumer action: Consumers should immediately take any affected toys away from children. There are three ways to contact Mattel to determine if your product is affected: Visit Mattel's website at www.service.mattel.com and click through to your country. Email Mattel via - [email protected]. Call Mattel Australia on toll-free 1800 674 753 between Monday to Friday 8am to 5pm (Aust EST). Do not return recalled product to retail stores. Consumers will receive a refund to the value of the returned product. Please note, consumers do not need to have the toy's original packaging or a receipt to return affected products to Mattel.

Update 23 March 2010

Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd - PRA number: 2010/11522

The following items were recalled due to trace elements of lead present in the products that is above the accepted Australian standard. Contamination occurred due to a third party source. Product recalled in Australia, New Zealand, The U.K. and U.S.A.

Product description

Darrell Lea Yoghurt Coated Raspberry Liquorice – 185g
Darrell Lea Yoghurt Coated Mango Liquorice – 185g
Ricci Yoghurt Coated Raspberry Liquorice - 225g & 185g
Ricci Yoghurt Coated Mango Liquorice – 225g

All best before dates
All in paper/plastic bag
Country of Origin: Australia

Consumers should return it to the place of purchase for a full refund or call 1300 669 405. Any consumers who are concerned about their health should seek medical advice.

Australian recall notice at www.recalls.gov.au/content/index.phtml/itemId/973740

The California Department of Health (CDPH) found that a single serve of Yoghurt-coated Raspberry liquorice could contain 24 micrograms of lead, four times the recommended US daily limit for children.

Success rate on recall - Not stated

Why so few Australian recalls and so many in the USA?

Most consumer products imported into Australia are never tested for lead, so although some of the products recalled in the United States due to lead poisoning hazards may not be available in Australia, the list of US leaded consumer product recalls at www.oregon.gov/DHS/ph/lead/recalls.shtml provides a useful guide to the sorts of products that MAY cause lead poisoning.

The Centers for Disease Control have put all the products recalled in the US for lead hazards since 2004 on one page (approximately 80 different products) and also lists the products by categories (toys, crafts, clothing, office equipment etc.).
See www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/Recalls/default.htm

The US recalls include:

leaded children's and costume jewellery (well in excess of 150 million items), snap closures on children's clothing, metal spigot on glass lemonade jars, key chains and medallions; leaded chalk; leaded vinyl and PVC products such as baby's bibs, children's school lunch bags, raincoats; lead paint on toy chests, the poles of large patio umbrellas, baby's clothing buttons, snaps and zipper pulls, children's gardening gloves, plastic sunglasses, toys including metal wires of baby activity centres, bendable plastic toys, flashlights, control buttons of a karaoke player, pedal cars, balls, games including floor mat games and children's furniture including cots, bookcases, dressers and chalkboards.

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Last Updated 20 November 2013
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