Health and Family Services Cabinet
Toys Recalled Due to Lead Content
Items Distributed at Local Libraries to Be Returned to Distributor
The Kentucky Departments for Public Health and Libraries and Archives have learned that 14 public libraries in the state have distributed numerous children’s toys containing excessive levels of lead, a health threat to young children if significant levels enter the bloodstream.
The toys, bendable cats and dogs, were given away to children throughout Kentucky as part of various libraries’ summer reading programs. A recall was recommended by the product distributor following a test by the Indiana State Department of Health that indicated the toys’ lead content to be in excess of the maximum allowable by current federal regulations.
“We are working closely with the Department for Libraries and Archives to ensure this situation is mitigated,” said William Hacker, M.D., CHFS’ acting undersecretary for health and public health commissioner. “The 14 libraries that distributed the toys have been contacted and families who received the toys will be notified. All toys will be recalled.”
In total, 324 toy packages containing 12 toys each were distributed. Kentucky is one of 36 states participating in this year’s summer reading program which will have to recall the toys that were manufactured in China.
Libraries that distributed the toys include Mercer County Library; Laurel County Library; Lexington Public Library; Logan County Public Library; Hardin County Public Library; Cynthiana/Harrison County Library; Allen County Public Library; Lillian Webb Memorial Library in Neon; Mason County Public Library; Boone County Public Library; Woodford County Public Library; Jackson County Public Library; Carroll County Public Library; and Barr Memorial Library in Fort Knox.
Libraries and Archives is recommending these libraries post signs to notify patrons of the recall. DPH will assist with the notification and offer guidance about the dangers of childhood lead exposure, one of the most significant health risks for young children.
“Recalled toys should be taken away from children and returned to the nearest public library,” said Justin Carey, program coordinator for DPH’s Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.
Chronic exposure leading to an elevated blood lead level in children can cause numerous health problems for young children, including hearing loss, and liver and kidney damage. Such developmental problems can have a lasting impact in terms of performance in school and an overall impact on quality of life.
According to DPH, the hazard category that accounts for the greatest number of recalled items in the past year is excessive lead content. Children can be exposed to lead when they put one of the toys in their mouths or touch the toy and place their hands in their mouths.
For more information on childhood lead poisoning prevention, please contact the Kentucky Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program at (502) 564-2154 or visit www.putthelidonlead.org.
For general information about lead poisoning or testing your home for lead hazards, contact the National Lead Information Center at (800) 424-LEAD (5323), or visit www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead.