San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Recall Affects Millions of Toys

China received another blow to its already tarnished reputation as an exporter when the U.S.-based toy company Mattel announced a recall of more than 18 million toys made there and sold worldwide.

The list of potentially lethal toys by Mattel emanating from China has grown long since the company’s first warnings and last December’s recall of nine products with small parts that are choking hazards.

The most recent announcement this week added 17 toys to that initial list, for a total of 26, according to the daily La Nación. Mattel also announced at least 10 of its toys contain lead-tainted paint, and the company is recalling all of them.

Last week, Costa Rica’s Economy Ministry ordered the 38 official distributors of these lead-tainted toys, which were fabricated from April 19 to July 6, to recall them from the market and give clients refunds.

The company is unsure how many of them were sold during the several months they were on sale.

Vice-Minister Jorge Woodbridge said, “We are trying to recall these products from the market quickly to avoid damage to children’s health,” since lead can be toxic in large quantities.

Mattel’s Fisher Price division announced a recall of almost one million of these toys from U.S. markets July 31 upon finding that the paint used contained high levels of lead.

For parents interested in finding out more, or obtaining a list of the recalled products, see your nearest toy store or call 295-6815.

“Parents must look over their children’s toys and check the lists that we’ve published,” urged Luis Diego Brenes, the representative for Mattel in Costa Rica and Central America. He said that as many as 17,000 toys with magnets small enough to be choking hazards entered the country since 2002.


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