After tainted toothpaste containing the raw ingredients for the manufacturing of automotive anti-freeze hit the market a few weeks ago, consumer watchdogs thought they had heard the worst.
Now comes word about a line of colourful, wood-based toys emblazoned with paint containing lead.
That's right -- lead.
In co-operation with RC2 Corp of Oak Brook, Ill, the CPSC has announced a voluntary recall of Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys after it was found that surface paints contain lead. As most people know, lead can be toxic if ingested by young children. Given the fact that young children have a tendency to put anything and everything into their mouths, this is an accident waiting to happen.
So far, according to the CPSC web site, there have been no incidence reports, and thankfully no injuries. At least, none reported.
To ensure that doesn't happen, the CPSC -- which is powerless on its own until President Bush appoints a third commissioner -- has secured the co-operation of the importer to get the affected wooden toys out of circulation.
A line of wood toys appeal to the nostalgic yearnings of parents having grown tired of the plastics so prevalent in toys today, and the chemicals that go into making them. How can you argue against the hardiness of wood, and a return to the unspoiled basics of an earlier time?
Unfortunately, the incredible decision on the part of some unthinking entity in China to use lead-based surface paint in a child's toy spoils the theory and puts your kids at risk.
The recall encompasses most, but not all wooden vehicles and other train set components, including buildings. You must pay attention to the manufacturing codes listed on the bottom of the product, or inside the battery cover.
Toys marked with the product codes WJ or AZ are not included in the recall.
Toys included in the voluntary recall, however, have packing with the logo 'Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway' on the upper left-hand corner. The toys have been sold through various stores nationwide from January 2005 through June 2007 and retails for between $10 and $70.
If you have any of the toys included on the recall list included below, keep the toy away from young children and contact the manufacturer for a replacement.
You can contact RC2 Corp. toll-free at 866.725.4407, or the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 800.638.2772
The recalled toys are as follows:
- Red James Engine & Red James' # 5 Coal Tender
- Red Lights & Sounds James Engine & Red James' #5 Lights & Sounds Coal Tender
- James with Team Colors Engine & James with Team Colors #5 Coal Tender
- Red Skarloey Engine
- Brown & Yellow Old Slow Coach
- Red Hook & Ladder Truck & Red Water Tanker Truck
- Red Musical Caboose
- Red Sodor Line Caboose
- Red Coal Car labelled "2006 Day Out With Thomas" on the Side
- Red Baggage Car
- Red Holiday Caboose
- Red "Sodor Mail" Car
- Red Fire Brigade Truck
- Red Fire Brigade Train
- Deluxe Sodor Fire Station
- Red Coal Car
- Yellow Box Car
- Red Stop Sign
- Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign
- Yellow "Sodor Cargo Company" Cargo Piece
- Smelting Yard
- Ice Cream Factory