Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Illinois adopts lead labeling requirements

Today Illinois Senate Bill 2860 was signed into law. PA 95-1019 will require warning labels on children's jewelry or painted toys (both for children up to age 12) or child care products designed or intended for use by the manufacturer to facilitate the feeding, relaxation or sleeping of children under six IF the product contains more than 40 parts per million (ppm) of lead.


Cribs with lead paint recalled, after sickening a child

Munire Funiture, Inc. of New Jersey has recalled 3,000 cribs and 6,000 matching furniture pieces after a child was diagnosed with lead poisoning. The "Newport Rubbed Black" furniture has toxic red paint under the covering black paint.

If you have this product, stop using it immediately and contact Munire for a coupon for replacement furniture. We would also recommend that anyone with this furniture have their children tested for lead immediately and report the results to CPSC. Contact KID for more information.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Lawsuit filed against Disney for deadly bassinet

A family whose baby was strangled by a defective bassinet manufactured by Simplicity for Children, but carrying the licensed Disney Winnie-the-Pooh brand, has filed suit in California against Disney, according to a story in the Chicago Tribune by Patricia Callahan.

The issue of licensing and safety is an important one for consumer advocates. Parents often buy a product based on the licensed name they recognize, rather than the less well known manufacturer. Danny Keysar, whose parents founded Kids In Danger, was killed in a Playskool Travel-Lite portable crib. Playskool is a Hasbro company name, but it was actually manufactured by Kolcraft. In the lawsuit filed by Danny's parents, both companies were named.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Target and CPSC announce Kiosk based recall information in stores

CPSC and Target announced a new notification system for product recall information in Target stores nationwide. Signs throughout the store will direct consumers to the kiosk in the guest services area where they will be able to search for recalls as well as print out the notices. The kiosks are currently used for gift registry programs.

Target will continue to post safety and recall information at Target.com, provide links to the CPSC and related Web sites, and send e-mails to guests who have purchased recalled products online. In addition, they announced a new process for eligible Target REDcard account holders, which provides recorded phone messages for consumers who purchase an item that has been recalled.

It is not clear that this new system will meet the requirements of local and state laws, such as Illinois' Children's Product Safety Act that require posting the recall notices in retail outlets.

CPSC used the opportunity to remind consumers that they can easily sign up for email notification of recalls at www.cpsc.gov/cpsclist.aspx.

Evenflo high chairs recalled after more than 1000 failure reports

Evenflo and CPSC are announcing the recall of 95,000 Majestic High Chairs because hardware failure (loose screws and plastic caps fall out) leads to falls and choking hazards. After almost 100 injuries and 1000 reports of the screws falling out, the company is now offering a repair kit. If you have this chair, in addition to requesting and using the repair kit, report to CPSC if you have also had the problem with loose screws.

Monday, December 15, 2008

When shopping, probably best to avoid metal jewelry

Over the past few years millions of rings, necklaces and other jewelry have been recalled because of lead content or paint. Yet a recent study by the Center for Environmental Health finds that much of that still on the shelves is still tainted with lead.

New regulations to limit lead content in children's products, including jewelry, goes into effect in February. At that time, manufacturers will have to certify that the product has been tested by an independent third party laboratory and is free of lead (or under 600ppm at least).

But in the meantime, as the CEH study shows, it is likely that jewelry currently for sale may still contain lead. Perhaps books would make a better gift this holiday season....

Mattel settles case with 39 state AG's on lead in toys

A settlement was announced today between Mattel and its subsidiary Fisher Price and 39 state attorneys general on toys tainted with lead. Mattel will pay the states $12 million, reduce the lead paint in their products immediately to the federal level of 90 ppm that will be effective next August and spend additional funds on lead testing and notification of consumers. California had reached an agreement with Mattel and other manufacturers earlier this month.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

University of Michigan students design safer crib

Students at the University of Michigan joined together in Project Safe Crib to look at design ideas to eliminate some of the hazards that have led to millions of cribs being pulled from the market due to defects, injuries and deaths. The team developed a prototype (painted of course in proud Michigan colors) that can only be assembled one way and with virtually no hardware, even though it still has a dropside. The dropside can even store under the mattress creating a daybed or changing table mode.

If you are interested in learning more, contact us at KID. The project is part of KID's Teach Early Safety Testing (TEST) program to integrate design safety into undergraduate engineering programs. This is the sixth year KID has worked with a team from UM.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Recent Safety Resources

  • KID joined Illinois PIRG in the release of its 23rd annual toy safety report, Trouble In Toyland.The report educates consumers about the new federal safety legislation and highlights the year's most pressing hazards including lead, choking and phthalates.
  • For crib recall information and safe sleep tips, check out the Illinois Attorney General's Rest Assured Guide.
  • The IL AG has also released Play It Safe, a 2008 recall guide.
  • Consumers Union has released Still Not Safe, a report on recalls issued during the CPSC 2008 fiscal year.
  • Healthytoys.org just released their results from testing toys for toxic chemicals. Check out their findings here.
  • CPSC has a holiday toy safety poster for child care or health care facilities to post for parents.

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