Target to Pay Penalty Over Lead Toys

October 16, 2009

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reports that Target Corp., of Minneapolis, Minn. has agreed to pay a $600,000 civil penalty for allegedly violating the federal lead paint ban on toys.

The penalty settlement resolves CPSC allegations that from May 2006 through August 2007, Target knowingly imported and sold various toys (Kool Toyz Products, Anima – Bamboo Collection Games, Happy Giddy Gardening Tools and Sunny Patch Chairs) with paint or other surface coatings that contained lead levels above legal limits.

The federal lead paint ban for toys has been in place since 1978.

CPSC staff alleged that Target failed to take adequate action to ensure that no toys or children’s products would bear lead-containing paint, thereby creating a risk of lead poisoning and adverse health effects to children.

“These highly publicized toy recalls were among many that helped spur action last year to impose even stricter limits on lead paint on toys,” said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “This penalty should remind importers and retailers that they have always had the same obligation to meet the strict lead limits as the manufacturers.”

The CPSC and Target announced voluntary recalls of the toys. In agreeing to the settlement, Target denies CPSC’s allegations that it violated the law.

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