在2007年8月2日至10月25日期間，共有2百萬件左右的美泰與費雪產品被美國消費者產品安全委員會（Consumer Product Safety Commission）要求回收，這些產品都是在中國簽約製造，玩具表面塗料與基底（substrate）含有過量的鉛。基底指的是表面塗料下所覆蓋的玩具基本材質。
從2007年8月檢察官著手調查美泰公司開始，美國國會也通過了「消費者產品安全改善法案」（Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act），同樣制定了更嚴格的表漆與基底含鉛標準，將自2009年2月生效。
Giant toy maker Mattel, and its subsidiary, Fisher-Price, today reached a legal settlement with 39 states, resolving a 15 month investigation into the events that led to a voluntary recall of the companies' toys for excessive lead paint in 2007.
The consent judgment, filed today in Suffolk Superior Court, requires Mattel to make a payment of $12 million by January 30, 2009, to be divided among the participating states.
The toys containing lead were all pulled off store shelves by December 2007, and the consent judgment provides protections against future harm for toys now being manufactured.
As the leader of the multi-state group investigation and settlement, Massachusetts will receive $625,000 as a result of the settlement. Of that amount, $500,000 will be dedicated to combating and preventing childhood lead poisoning and $125,000 will cover the costs of the investigation.
From August 2, 2007, through October 25, 2007, the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled approximately two million Mattel and Fisher-Price toys, all manufactured by contractors in China, because the toys contained excessive lead in accessible surface coatings and substrates. A substrate is the base substance a toy is made of that is distinct from the surface coating that covers a toy.
At the time of the recalls, the federal standard permitted for lead in accessible surface coatings was 600 parts per million. During the course of the states' investigation, authorities found that lead levels in the recalled toys not only exceeded the federal standard, but in some instances, tested over 10,000 ppm and 50,000 ppm.
The agreement includes more stringent standards for accessible lead, in both surface coatings and substrates, effective for toys manufactured after November 30, 2008. Under the settlement, the new standards are 90 ppm for lead paint and surface coatings, and 300 ppm total lead for substrates.
Since the attorneys general first contacted Mattel in August 2007, Congress enacted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, which requires more stringent standards for lead in surface coatings and substrates, effective in February 2009.
Under the judgment filed today, Mattel must phase in more stringent standards ahead of the timelines provided by the new law. Mattel is also required to notify the attorneys general if it confirms excessive lead in any of its products in violation of state or federal law, or the consent judgment, and to work with the attorneys general to remedy such violations.
Under the consent judgment, should Mattel sell toys in the future that surpass the judgment's lead standards, that conduct would constitute contempt of the judgment as well as a violation of the Consumer Protection Act.
Lead, at any level, is dangerous in the body. Very small amounts of lead can cause neurological damage, drops in IQ and long term behavioral problems. Higher exposures can lead to seizures, coma or death.
Lead poisoning is cumulative and most children who have it do not look or act sick. Early signs of lead poisoning include upset stomach, trouble eating or sleeping, headache or trouble paying attention.
While all affected toys have been removed from the market, consumers who are concerned that a toy they purchased may be affected can cross check the SKU number on the toy with the recall list on Mattel's website, www.mattel.com, or by calling Mattel at 1-800-916-4498.