Walmart stops lead-tainted item

2010-10-15 09:44

Arkansas - Walmart announced on Thursday that it would remove from its shelves children's products that a consumer group said tested for high levels of lead.

The Oakland, California-based Centre for Environmental Health said this week that tests it commissioned on children's products sold at Target Corp and Walmart stores identified products that contained lead above legal limits.

Minneapolis-based Target agreed to remove two toddler chairs that the group cited, while Bentonville-based Wal-Mart Stores initially said it would pull the items only from its California stores. Both companies pulled the items from their online businesses.

Wal-Mart Stores spokesperson Lorenzo Lopez said on Thursday that "out of an abundance of caution" the company has stopped nationwide sales of items that include toy boxing gloves and foam bead jewellery.

"We're concerned with the Centre for Environmental Health's findings and are taking this very seriously," Lopez said.

"We have passing test results from Consumer Product Safety Commission-accredited labs for these items and will continue to investigate this matter."

The Centre for Environmental Health, funded by a grant from the California attorney general's office, tests children's products to see whether they comply with regulations.

The California attorney general's office said it had contacted the retailers, based on the centre's test results.

The centre had criticised Walmart for not immediately stopping sales nationwide.

Walmart says it has comprehensive testing standards and that it works with suppliers to ensure products don't violate regulations.