Tests commissioned by a California-based environmental group working with the state attorney general’s office have found illegally high lead content in children’s products at the Walmart and Target retail chains.
The Center for Environmental Health said the lead was discovered in toddlers’ green and yellow beanbag chairs, youth boxing gloves, toy foam jewelry beads and a bounce house sold in stores or online by Walmart, as well as in toddlers’ chairs at Target.
With one of the Target chairs, the center said, lead levels were 70 times the legal limit.
A spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. told the Associated Press that the company is stopping sales of the items in California and on the company’s website, Walmart.com, but it has not issued a recall of items already sold. That drew a protest from Caroline Cox, the California environmental center’s research director. “We cannot understand how Walmart can continue to sell these lead-tainted products to children in any state, or any country,” she said.
Target didn’t immediately respond to the AP’s request for comment, but the center said the company agreed to remove the chairs with high lead content from its stores.
The testing at Walmart and Target was funded by a grant from the California attorney general’s office, and was part of a state program to check on compliance with state and federal laws limiting the amount of lead allowed in children’s products. The attorney general’s office told the AP it had contacted the retailers about the test results.