Tainted Toy Disposal Presents Problems

Date: August 19, 2007

Source: News Room

According to articles in the Associated Press, the massive recall of toys laced with lead paint or powerful magnets is likely to pose a challenging disposal problem for the manufacturers. The lead-painted toys in particular, would have to be destroyed or sent to an appropriate disposal facility whereas the magnetic toys only need be recalled. However, there is potential legal liability if they find their way into a Salvation Army store or some other resale venue. Manufacturers do not yet appear to have a specific plan.

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Connecticut Attorney General's Office

Press Release

Attorney General Notifies Mattel Of Environmental Obligations In Disposing Lead-Contaminated Toys

August 17, 2007

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal warned Mattel, Inc. officials of their obligation to comply with federal and state environmental laws in disposing of lead-contaminated toys in Connecticut.

In a letter to Mattel CEO Bob Eckert, Blumenthal said the recent recall of Mattel toys containing dangerous lead paint is an essential first step toward resolving this issue - but more steps are necessary to protect against further public harm from lead.

Under state law, if toys are disposed in Connecticut, Mattel will have to determine - through sample testing or otherwise - whether the toys being disposed constitute a hazardous waste. The company must also determine whether the entity conducting the disposal, whether it be Mattel, a distributor or a retailer, must be designated a hazardous waste generator.

Blumenthal has requested that Mattel officials certify in writing within 30 days that any disposal of Mattel toys containing lead in Connecticut will be done in compliance with federal and state law, and that the company has instituted a plan to monitor disposal.

"Our message to Mattel: get the lead out - and keep it out," Blumenthal said. "Mattel's responsibility to protect our children from lead contaminated toys does not end with this recall. Improper disposal of lead threatens pernicious perpetual public harm, including contamination of soil and water."

Blumenthal said in the letter, "Connecticut, like many states, seeks to protect the health and safety of its citizens by minimizing and eventually eliminating the release of dangerous chemicals, such as lead, into our environment. If we are to truly protect our children, the lead in these toys must not be allowed to contaminate our environment."


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