Press Releases

New Lead Toys Exposed

100 toys tested in a single week by CEH; 9% found with illegal lead

Dora the Explorer, Sponge Bob, from
Target and Disney "Princess" Toys Contain More than Twice the Legal
Limit for Lead in Paint

CA – Days before the holiday toy shopping season,
or "Black Friday", the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) warned parents
that lead-tainted toys are still widely found on store shelves. CEH conducted
100 toy tests between November 13-16 and found 9 percent of the toys with levels
above the legal limit of 600 parts for million for lead in paint.

Lead was found in Nickelodeon's Dora the Explorer and Sponge
Bob bat and ball sets-all purchased from Target-and a Disney "Princess" coin
purse and "Starletz" ceramic tea sets purchased from a local store. The tea
sets tested at more than 20 times the legal limit. Yesterday the CEH notified
Target and other companies about the lead-tainted toys and requested a recall.

"The federal government can take weeks to recall dangerous
toys, but parents need help avoiding lead now," said Michael Green, Executive
Director of CEH. "We will continue our extensive testing to expose this threat
to our children and help parents find safer toys."

While many recent toy recalls have been due to lead paint,
CEH is warning parents that high lead levels can be found in other materials
such as vinyl (PVC) that is often made with lead added as a stabilizer. The
high lead levels CEH found in the Dora and Sponge Bob ball sets announced today
are from PVC. CEH has previously discovered
hundreds of other lead-tainted children's products made from PVC, including
baby bibs, lunchboxes, rain ponchos and others.

"Mothers are
fed up with the endless string of toxic toys this year," said Joan Blades,
President of and co-founder of Move "We won't
tolerate lead in our children's lunchboxes and we won't tolerate the government's
failure to be a real watchdog. Moms across America have been forced to test
kids' products themselves because the Consumer Product Safety Commission is not
protecting our children." "Tens of thousands of members
have contacted members of Congress to demand action.

CEH also warns parents that extremely high lead levels have
been found in metal jewelry for children. Due to the extreme risks to young
children who may chew on or swallow metal small items, CEH warns parents to
avoid metal jewelry for young children altogether. Last year a four-year old Minnesota boy died after
swallowing a lead-tainted charm. This year, California enacted the nation's first law
banning lead in children's jewelry, a law based on CEH's landmark legal
agreement with more than 100 companies that made or sold lead-tainted
children's jewelry. CPSC still has no federal standard for lead in children's

Nearly a month after CEH announced tests finding high lead
levels in a Curious George doll, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
finally announced a recall of the toy earlier this month. Despite CEH findings
of high lead levels in baby bibs and children's lunchboxes, CPSC never ordered
a recall of the hazardous products.

"We know this will be a challenging shopping season, so
we want parents to be armed with up-to-date information" said Green.
"As the holidays approach, parents should know they can continue to turn
to CEH for answers about safer toys for their kids."

CEH has previously identified and won legal agreements to
end lead hazards in numerous children's products, including diaper creams,
children's medicines, home water filters, lunchboxes, baby bibs and others that
CPSC failed to find. The nonprofit has a ten-year track record of protecting children
from hidden health hazards in consumer products and protecting communities from
health hazards related to toxic pollution. CEH works with major industries and
leaders in green business to promote healthier alternatives to toxic products
and practices. For more about CEH, see