Ummm . . . .
Lead found in vinyl diaper bags, changing pads
Illinois attorney general seeking recall
By Anna Marie Kukec | Daily Herald Staff
March 25, 2008
The Illinois attorney general's office said Tuesday it would ask major retailers to pull more baby products off the shelves due to high levels of lead.
Various brands of vinyl diaper bags, along with their attached changing pads and other components, had lead levels two to nine times higher than lawfully acceptable. One changing pad had eight times the acceptable level of lead, according to a report by Oakland-based Center for Environmental Health.
"U.S. companies know that lead shouldn't be in children's products, even if they are manufactured overseas," said Cara Smith, the attorney general's deputy chief of staff for policy and communication.
Smith said the products were made in China and imported without a problem since no federal law limits such items.
Illinois has one of the toughest laws nationwide regarding lead poisoning prevention. The law was passed in 2006 and bans any children's product that contains more than 600 parts per million of lead.
The Center for Environmental Health contacted the attorney general's office on Monday, requesting it cooperate on a massive recall to get these items off store shelves.
"We began investigating this after one of our staff received a baby diaper bag as a gift and asked us to test it for lead," said Caroline Cox, the center's research director.
Smith said her office is working with the center and then will contact retailers in the next day or two. The state will ask retailers to immediately remove the items from their shelves.
According to the center, products that tested positive for lead include "Baby Got Bag," Disney's "Dolly" and "Baby Necessities" at Kmart; "George" at Wal-Mart; and Carters "Out 'N About" at Babies R Us.
"Kmart takes our customers' safety very seriously, and we've worked with environmental groups and the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create safe standards for lead levels in our products," said Kimberly Freely, spokeswoman for Kmart parent Sears Holdings Corp. in Hoffman Estates. If Kmart determines there is a concern, it will pull the products from the shelves, she said.
"All of our vendors are required to meet all regulatory safety standards including those relating to lead," Freely said.
Spokesmen at other retailers were unavailable for comment.
Removing already-sold products from homes is a different matter.
"It's virtually impossible to put a genie back in the bottle," Smith said.
Last August, the attorney general and the California group went after retailers that sold vinyl baby bibs with high levels of lead
Are you fucking kidding me?