Tuesday, April 21, 2009

KID releases new report on 08 recalls, recall effectiveness

Today, Kids In Danger released Toxic Toys and Faulty Cribs, an examination of children's product recalls in 2008, recall effectiveness at CPSC and the implications for child safety. KID was joined by US Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, and representatives of Illinois PIRG and Lead Safe Illinois. here is the release:

2007 might have been the Year of the Recall, leading to landmark children’s product safety legislation in Congress, but the recalls continued through 2008, including a record number of crib recalls.

The report found that children’s product recalls by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) remained high in 2008, following 2007’s record numbers. There were 190 recalls accounting for more than 18 million items, including twelve recalls of cribs responsible for five deaths.

“These products together caused at least 210 injuries and 7 deaths,” stated Nancy Cowles, executive director of Kids In Danger. “And those incidents include only those already reported at the time of the recall. More needs to be done to protect children from these hazards.

Additional findings of the report include:

· Toys were the largest category of recalled children’s products – 41%

· Despite the scrutiny on lead in 2007, 36% of the recalls were for lead paint hazards.

· There were five recalls of over one million products with over 18 million units recalled in total.

· Two-thirds of the recalled products were made in China, 4% were made here in the United States.

· Evenflo had the most injuries prior to a recall – 94 in their Majestic High Chair.

· A record number, 12, cribs were recalled, involving eight injuries and five deaths.

· While CPSC requires monthly updates on Corrective Action Plans, research showed that many companies simply don’t file the report or don’t fill in the requested information. For those that do, the numbers show that most recalled products remain in the hands of consumers.

KID recommends that CPSC immediately begin to plan and implement a public database with product and injury data. In addition, CPSC should require more of companies when a product is recalled to ensure dangerous products are removed from use or repaired. “Congress should request annual reports on recall effectiveness,” stated Cowles. “Perhaps the light of day will encourage companies to take those extra steps to get their defective products out of homes and child care facilities.”

“We are obligated to protect our children from the dangers of the world when the solutions are as obvious as they are with toxic toys,” said Rep. Jan Schakowsky. “By increasing oversight and enforcing accountability on manufacturers we will provide parents with greater peace of mind and children with toys they can enjoy.”

“I have launched many investigations to identify and remove dangerous products from store shelves in Illinois. The results of these investigations underscore the report’s findings that the Consumer Product Safety Commission must do more to make the recall process work effectively for families,” Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan said. “We have learned that it is not enough just to post a recall on a Web site and distribute a press release. The CPSC and product manufacturers must implement more proactive and aggressive measures to ensure that consumers with dangerous products in their homes become aware of the recall and understand how to respond appropriately.”

KID recommends that parents check the products used with their children at www.cpsc.gov and sign up for safety updates at www.KidsinDanger.org. In addition, parents should report problems with a product both to the manufacturer and CPSC and urge Congress to continue its oversight of the agency.

“Parents should not have to be scientists in the toy store in order to make sure they are buying safe products for their children,” said Emily Miller, Health Care Advocate with Illinois PIRG. “Toys should be safe, period. Kids, who are our littlest consumers, deserve high safety standards that protect them from death and other serious health hazards.”

“Lead in toys is one of the causes of children being harmed by lead,” concluded Anita Weinberg of Lead Safe Illinois. “At the same time, lead poisoning is one of the few causes of social and learning problems we know how to solve - it's preventable. Kids in Danger's report on "Toxic Toys and Faulty Cribs" goes a long way to helping raise awareness about preventable risks to children.”

More information about Kids In Danger and dangerous juvenile products is available at (312) 595-0649 or www.KidsInDanger.org.


Headmistress, zookeeper said...

“Lead in toys is one of the causes of children being harmed by lead,” concluded Anita Weinberg of Lead Safe Illinois.

Wow. That's just false.

70 percent of lead in blood levels comes from the paint on the walls of old houses. That accounts for hundreds of cases.

Of the remaining 30 percent, about half come from issues related to candy from Mexico, and folk remedies (some cultures have children suck on a lead object for some symptoms).

The rest are mostly lead in the soil from back when we had leaded gasoline, or lead from drinking water.

Of the 40,000 children with elevated bll in 2006, almost none had anything to do with their toys.

More hereand here

Kids In Danger said...

The statement about lead being one of the causes of children being harmed by lead is far from false. As you stated, and as Anita stated in her full comments, the largest source of lead for our children is from the housing stock or remodeling. Her organization, Lead Safe Illinois, is leading the fight to eradicate that hazard. But that doesn't mean that lead from other sources is ok or not a problem. With a third of the children's products recalled last year containing lead paint, including many toys and a crib that sickened a child, there is still a need to eliminate lead in all products used by children including toys.

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