Nine children’s product manufacturers, importers and sellers have agreed to pay $530,000 in civil penalties for violating the federal lead paint ban, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today. The penalties settle allegations that the firms knowingly manufactured, imported or sold toys and other children’s articles with paint or other surface coatings that contained lead levels in violation of federal law.
The nine companies were responsible for 13 recalls of 6 million items in 2007 and 2008 including toys, children’s metal jewelry, children’s pens, metal water bottles, pencil pouches, sunglasses and children’s Halloween pails and baskets. Following is a list of the companies, their fines and the associated recalls.
Cardinal Distributing Co. Inc., of Baltimore, Md., $100,000
Dollar General Corp., of Goodlettsville, Tenn., $100,000
Family Dollar Stores Inc., of Matthews, N.C., $75,000
Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. of Oklahoma City, Okla., $50,000
First Learning Company Ltd., of Hong Kong, $50,000
Michaels Stores Inc., of Irving, Texas, $45,000
A&A Global Industries Inc., of Cockeysville, Md., $40,000
Raymond Geddes & Co, of Baltimore, Md., $40,000
Downeast Concepts Inc., of Yarmouth, Maine, $30,000
Our take: We are glad to see the CPSC finally flexing its muscle and fining companies that violate the law while putting children at risk. Although the fines seem paltry, penalties such as these can act as a deterrent to future wrong-doing by flagrant violators.