For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
(208) 334-4112

Date: December 15, 2008

Wasden Joins Toy Safety Settlement with Mattel

(Boise) – Mattel, Inc., and Fisher-Price, Inc., entered into a settlement with the State of Idaho requiring more stringent lead safety standards for toys, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. Popular toys, such as Dora the Explorer and “Sarge,” a die-cast car were among the toys manufactured in China between August 2 and October 25, 2007, which contained lead paint.

The agreement reached by Wasden and 37 other state attorneys general includes more stringent standards for accessible lead, both in surface coatings and substrates. The new standards are in effect for toys manufactured after November 30, 2008.

“When it comes to lead ingestion, there simply is no safe level for a child,” Attorney General Wasden warned. “I am pleased that Mattel is taking steps to ensure the safety of their toys for Idaho’s children.”

After the attorneys general contacted Mattel in August 2007, Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), which now provides more stringent standards for lead in surface coatings and substrates, starting in February 2009. Mattel has agreed to phase in more stringent standards ahead of the timelines provided by the CPSIA and to notify the attorneys general if it confirms excessive lead in any of its products.

The settlement resolves a 16-month investigation into the events that resulted in a voluntary recall of the company’s toys for excessive lead paint in 2007.

The agreement, filed today in Ada County District Court, also requires Mattel to pay $12 million to the states by January 30, 2009. Idaho will receive $202,139 to help fund the state’s activities under the Consumer Protection Act. Failure to disclose a material fact, in this instance, the amount of lead paint on these children’s toys, is a violation of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act.

Between August 2 and October 25, 2007, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) recalled approximately two million Mattel and Fisher-Price toys manufactured in China, alleging that the toys contained excessive lead in accessible surface coatings. At the time of the recalls, the CPSC standard permitted for lead in accessible surface coatings was 600 parts per million. Lead levels taken from the recalled toys during the course of the states’ investigation uncovered that levels not only exceeded the federal standard but, in some instances, tested over 10,000 ppm and 50,000 ppm.

Click here for a list of the toys involved in the recall.

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