This is not child's play. A make-your-own jewelry toy line being sold in New York contains exceedingly high levels of lead, a New York state probe found.
The tested Cra-Z-Art products contained 120 to 980 parts-per-million (ppm) lead levels. These lead levels are nearly 10 times the 100 ppm maximum limit that has been approved for children by the federal government.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently assessing if a product recall is needed. CPSC chairman Elliot Kaye announced on April 22 that the agency is currently analyzing the Cra-Z-Art kits' safety.
This followed the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's call to major retailers to remove and recall the products with high lead levels. This move extends to products that may be similar to the Cra-Z-Art kits that could be toxic to children.
"Manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers all have a responsibility to ensure that products intended for use by children are safe," said Schneiderman in a statement. "My office's discovery of children's products containing high levels of lead for sale on store shelves in New York points to an alarming breach in the safety net that is supposed to protect our kids from dangerous chemicals."
Kaye added that the CPSC staff immediately launched their own investigation into the safety of the Cra-Z-Art products after receiving the information from the New York probe.
Kaye stressed that the Commission's probe will be "thorough and swift." The CPSC will conduct all the steps needed to protect the general public.
LaRose Industries manufactures the Cra-Z-Art kit sold in K-Mart, Toys-R-Us, Target and more major retailers. The New York probe tested 10 Cra-Z-Art kits that have been bought at nine stores in New York.
These products included the My Look Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Jewelz Gem Creations Ultimate Gem Machine, Shimmer N' Sparkle Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Jewelz Gem Creations Ultimate Gem Machine and the Shimmer N' Sparkle Cra-Z-Art Cra-Z-Jewelz Gem Creations Gem Charm and Slider Bracelets.
In December, the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI) in the United Kingdom confiscated several counterfeit toys containing high levels of toxic substances. These chemicals can increase the development risk of asthma, reproductive issues and even cancer.