Thomas & Friends toys recalled for lead poisoning danger

RC2 Corp. is recalling about 1.5 million Thomas & Friends toys, including about 90,000 in Canada because they contain high levels of lead, posing a health threat to young children.

RC2 Corp. is recalling about 1.5 million Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway toys, including about 90,000 in Canada, because they contain high levels of lead that pose a health threat to young children.

The recall, announced Wednesday, does not apply to toys labelled with the manufacturing codes WJ or AZ. The toys were sold at various retailers in Canada and the United States from January 2005 through June 2007 for between $10 and $70 US.

Children absorb lead more easily than adults,making them more vulnerable to poisoning. Exposure to high levels of lead can cause vomiting, diarrhea, convulsions, coma or death. Symptoms include anemia, appetite loss, abdominal pain, constipation, fatigue, sleeplessness, irritability and headaches.

No associated injuries have been reported.

Since the beginning of last year, six other toys have been pulled from store shelves in Canada, including bracelets, charms and army toy sets.

Last year, Health Canada set limits for lead content in children's products. It is now illegal for companies to import toys with more than 600 milligrams of lead per kilogram of metal.

Some critics say the new regulations lack strength because inspectors canonly ask the seller to recall products from the marketplace voluntarily, once the problem has been detected.

The RC2 recall involves the following products:

  • 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.

Consumers should take the toys away from young children and call the company for a replacement.