Thousands of Barbie accessory toys recalled after lead violation

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced late Tuesday that it is recalling about 675,000 Chinese-made toys that have excessive amounts of lead paint.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in co-operation with Mattel Inc., announced late Tuesday that it is recalling about675,000 Chinese-made toys that have excessive amounts of lead paint.

A display of Barbie dolls at a department store in Beijing in August. ((Greg Baker/Associated Press))

The voluntary recall covers units of various Barbie accessory toys that were manufactured between Sept. 30, 2006, and Aug. 20, 2007.

"Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed,"said the agency's website.

As well,8,900 different toys involving Big Big World 6-in-I Bongo Band toys from the company's Fisher-Price brand were recalled. Those products were sold nationwide from July 2007 through August 2007.

25,500 toys affected in Canada

In total, there are 25,500 toys affected by the recall in Canada, including seven types of Barbie-branded accessory sets.

Among the three Fisher-Price toys recalled globally are two Fisher-Price Geotrax toys that were sold in Canada and one "It's a Big Big World" toy sold exclusively in the U.S.

The announcement marks Mattel's third major recall of Chinese-made toys because of lead paint in a matter of a month.

Mattel's last recall, announced on Aug. 14, included 18.2 million magnetic toys and 436,000 toys with lead paint.

On Aug. 1, Mattel's Fisher-Price division said it was recalling 1.5 million preschool toys featuring characters such as Dora the Explorer, Big Bird and Elmo because of lead paint. That action included 967,000 toys sold in the United States between May and August.

Warned of more recalls

Lead can cause brain damage when ingested by young children. Under current U.S. regulations, children's products found to have more than .06 per cent lead accessible to users are subject to a recall. The international standard for the allowable amount of releasable lead in children's toys is 90 parts per million, according to Health Canada.

Robert Eckert, chairman and CEO of El Segundo, Calif.-based Mattel, warned at a press conference last month that there may be more recalls of tainted toys as the company steps up its investigations into its Chinese factories and retests products.

Still, the latest action would be yet another blow to Mattel, which had cultivated an image of tightly controlling production in China. The Consumer Product Safety Commission also said Tuesday it was considering a possible investigation of whether Mattel notified authorities as quickly as it should have in connection with the Aug. 14 recall.