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Wal-Mart Pulls Lead-Tainted Kid's Toys From Shelves

Fri, 10/15/2010 - 4:40am
Chuck Bartels, AP Business Writer

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) — Walmart announced Thursday that it would remove from its shelves children's products that a consumer group said tested for high levels of lead.

The Oakland, California-based Center for Environmental Health said this week that tests it commissioned on children's products sold at Target Corp. and Walmart stores identified products that contained lead above legal limits.

Minneapolis-based Target agreed to remove two toddler chairs that the group cited, while Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. initially said it would pull the items only from its California stores. Both companies pulled the items from their online businesses.

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. spokesman Lorenzo Lopez said Thursday that "out of an abundance of caution" the company has stopped nationwide sales of items that include toy boxing gloves and foam bead jewelry.

"We're concerned with the Center for Environmental Health's findings and are taking this very seriously," Lopez said. "We have passing test results from Consumer Product Safety Commission-accredited labs for these items and will continue to investigate this matter."

The Center for Environmental Health, funded by a grant from the California attorney general's office, tests children's products to see whether they comply with regulations. The California attorney general's office said it had contacted the retailers, based on the center's test results.

The center had criticized Walmart for not immediately stopping sales nationwide. Walmart says it has comprehensive testing standards and that it works with suppliers to ensure products don't violate regulations.

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