Hannah Montana Toys Tainted With Lead? (CBS)
Sandra Hughes, CBS News
(CBS) There are
hundreds of Hannah Montana products on store shelves. Last year, their sales
totaled about $100 million.
But, reports CBS News correspondent Sandra Hughes, they might not all be
The Hannah Montana character is so popular, her TV show spawned a sold-out
nationwide concert series and a movie.
It's no wonder Hannah Montana's face is on so much that "tween" girls
own, from backpacks to purses to wallets.
But, like so many vinyl products made in China,
some of these have been discovered to contain lead, according to Charles
Margulis of the independent California
lab, the Center for Environmental
"We purchased 28 Hannah Montana products," he told Hughes, "and
of those 28, nine had high levels of lead."
The center, which has tested everything from lunch boxes to
baby bibs, says it found that the paint and vinyl of five products lead levels
higher than fededal standards permit, and four more exceeded the level The
American Academy of Pediatrics has set for toys.
The center says a Girls Rock backpack from Walmart.com and a Secret Star wallet
from Toys 'R Us had lead content of 1,800 parts per million-to-8,300 parts per
million. The federal standard of safety for lead in paint is 600 parts per
has set that level for lead for paint, but hasn't set one for toys. The American Academy of Pediatrics has set a standard
for toys, and it's much lower than the government's lead-in-paint standard —
only 40 parts per million. Other experts say there's no safe level of lead for
something a child might put in his or her mouth.
Offcials of Disney, which owns the Montana
character, vehemently deny their products have high concentrations of lead,
saying their tests show the products fall well below government standards.
But Margulis warns that, "Lead is toxic to teenagers, to young children,
and even young adults, especially young women."
One-hundred-twelve toy products were recalled last year due to concerns about
their lead content. While 19 states have laws banning the use of lead in
packaging of children's products, only Illinois
bans lead outright in those products.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission wouldn't comment for this story, and
hasn't announced any recalls in this case.
A bill to beef up the CPSC is making its way through Congress. It could lead to
an eventual ban on lead content in toys.
In the meantime, there's little a parent can do but watch for recalls or buy a
home-testing kit. But such a kit will only show the presence of lead, not how
much lead is on a toy or in its paint.
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