Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lead found in Disney-licensed shopping bags

TAMPA Disney is the latest big-name company to find reusable shopping bags with its name on it may be tainted with lead.

In this case, a consumer advocacy group Center for Environmental Health tested Disney-themed bags sold at Safeway grocery stores, and found some bags had lead levels as much as 17 times above the federal limits for children's products.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission allows 300 parts per million of lead in products marketed to children. In August this year, that level will fall to 100.

One bag with characters from the Disney movie "Cars" had more than 15 times the federal limit 300ppm, CEH said, and one bag with "Toy Story" characters had more than 17 times the federal limit. To conduct the tests, CEH hired the National Food Lab in Livermore, Calif., a food and packaging test lab with clients such as Dole, Smuckers and Kraft.

Health advocates consider lead a toxin, as it can cause learning disabilities in children and fertility problems in adults. CEH formally notified officials in California, where it is based, that the bags could violate state laws there – a precursor to potentially taking legal action against Disney, Safeway, and other companies involved in making the bags.

"These hazardous lead levels in Disney-themed products from a major retailer like Safeway are especially disappointing now that it has been almost three years since federal legislation banned lead in children's products," said Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH.

Marisa Martinez, a spokeswoman for Disney stores, said the bags in question are licensed, sold and manufactured by another company, and were not sold in Disney retail stores. Safeway officials have not yet responded to requests for comment on the bags.

Potential issues with Disney come after a series of retailers that have tested their bags and revamped or recalled bags, including Publix, Winn-Dixie, CVS, Sears stores in Canada and the athletic wear company Lululemon. In tests commissioned by the Tampa Tribune, bags with high lead levels tended to have the most elaborate designs, compared to plainer bags that had nearly no detectable lead levels.

Last year, the Food and Drug Administration launched a probe into the issue of lead in bags.

0 comments:

Post a Comment