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On February 4, the CPSC announced that it reached an agreement with Schylling Associates Inc., of Rowley, Mass., in which the company has agreed to pay a $200,000 civil penalty. This settlement resolves the allegations by CPSC staff that the company imported toys for sale in this country that violated the federal limits on lead paint.
The original lead paint ban when into effect in 1978, and prohibited toys and other children’s articles from having more than 600 part per million (ppm), by weight, in paints or surface coatings. The regulatory limit was reduced to 90 ppm on August 14, 2009, as a result of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008.
In 2001 through 2003, Schylling Associates imported spinning tops and toy pails with Thomas & Friends, Winnie the Pooh, Curious George and Circus graphics that exceeded the federal lead paint limits.
Although it eventually reported these toys to CPSC in 2007, Schylling knew or should have known by 2002 that most of the toys did not comply with the lead paint ban, and it failed to report this information to the government in a timely manner. Instead of notifying CPSC immediately, in 2002, Schylling conducted a unilateral recall of the distributed toys by seeking their return from affected retail businesses.
Within weeks of being notified of each of these violations in 2007, CPSC announced the firm’s voluntary recall of the products first in August and for additional toys in November of that same year.
CPSC Chair Inez Tenenbaum reminded importers that, “Manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers have a legal obligation to ensure that no banned products are introduced into or distributed in the U.S. marketplace, and to inform CPSC as soon as they become aware of information that must be reported under our laws. We will continue to penalize companies that do not follow these basic requirements.”
Schylling admits to no wrongdoing under the terms of the settlement.