Mom Outraged Over Lead In Baby's Toy


ALPHARETTA, Ga. - An Alpharetta woman is angry after discovering a lead warning on her baby's toy.

Kathy Haviland's 16-month-old daughter, Haley, never got the chance to play with the Christmas music set she received. As soon as she unwrapped it, her mother said she was put off by a "tiny little label" on the bottom of the box.

The label read, "Warning: contains lead. May be harmful if eaten or chewed. May generate dust containing lead."

Mom Outraged Over Lead In Baby's Toy

Haviland said she was stunned.

"Even if it's just a little bit of lead, I think lead in anything for a child is just insane," she told Channel 2 consumer investigator Jim Strickland.

The "Band in a Drum" music set from F.A.O. Schwarz is made in China and sold by Toys R Us. Since Haviland returned hers, Strickland bought another and found plenty on the shelf.

Strickland received messages from other mothers saying they were outraged by the lead contents.

"I wouldn't expect someone to see this label and say 'Oh, that's OK,'" said Haviland.

Toys R Us has not return Strickland's calls, but a Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman was quick to defend the toy.

CPSC spokesman Scott Wolfson said the box's label is meant to conform to a toxic substance law in California. But he said the law is strict, and products with no real potential danger get branded with dire warnings.

"We respect California law, but parents should know that the safety of their children is not necessarily at risk if they see that label," Wolfson said in an e-mail.

Haviland said the label is more confusing than helpful.

"Look what I've had to go through just to find out that this doesn't mean what I think it means," she said.

There have only been three lead-related toy recalls this year. Wolfson said Chinese factories, like the one that made the drum set, are getting the message and getting the lead out.

Haviland is still playing it safe.

"It's a cute toy. She would have loved to play with the drum, but now she's not going to," said Haviland.