Spitzer announces action following toy recall

(08/17/07) ALBANY (AP) - Gov. Eliot Spitzer said Friday that the state will take steps to ensure Chinese-made toys contaminated with lead are taken off New York store shelves, bolstering a voluntary recall of the toys by manufacturers. Spitzer said the state Health Department and Consumer Protection Board inspectors will make sure the toys are returned to manufacturers and destroyed. Numerous recalled toys have been found on shelves throughout the state in the past day, Spitzer said in a prepared statement. So far this month, Mattel Inc. has agreed with the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall about 19 million toys worldwide. The recall includes toys from its popular Barbie, Polly Pocket and Fisher-Price lines because of possible lead contamination or other hazards. In June, RC2 Corp. recalled about 1.5 million items from its Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toy line. Spitzer said the federal commission lacks the funding or staff to adequately monitor the recalls, so the state will enforce the toys' removal from stores. The state Office for Children and Family Services will also make sure day care providers check toys against the recall lists and immediately remove affected items. The state will ask physicians to speak with parents about the risks of lead poisoning, work with retailers to coordinate "Toy Testing Days" around the state, and distribute recall information in several languages. Additionally, Spitzer said he will direct the Consumer Protection Board to impose stiff civil and criminal fines against businesses that sell recalled products.


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