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Some of Tacoma wholesaler’s products recalled for lead

Post by Kathleen Cooper / The News Tribune on Sep. 21, 2010 at 4:15 pm with No Comments »
September 21, 2010 4:15 pm

About 23,000 pieces of novelty jewelry distributed nationwide by a Tacoma company have been recalled because of high levels of lead.

The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission said the “Love Tester” mood rings and necklaces are problematic, though no injuries have been reported.

D&D Distributing-Wholesale Inc., 14615 C Street South in Tacoma, imported the items, which were made in China. They were sold from September 2005 through June. Each item cost about $4.

Shoppers can call the company’s hotline at (800) 262-9435.

Here’s the company’s statement, sent to me in an e-mail:

September 21, 2010,

To Whom It May Concern:

From: D&D Distributing-Wholesale, Inc.

To Whom It May Concern:

We are writing in response to the Love Tester items that were found by CPSC staff to contain lead in excess of the current CPSIA limits.  These items were originally purchased in 2005, and intended as a teenage to adult novelty, and not for children 12 and under.  This is evidenced by the novelty of this item being to measure the sexual performance of the bearer with the results ranging from clammy to naughty, passionate and hot stuff.  These words were specifically chosen to target a more mature market.

Nonetheless, due to our awareness potential future legislation, we instructed the factory to make these items using lead-free metal to avoid any problems.  The factory confirmed that these goods would be made out of lead-free material and adjusted the prices to reflect this.  In 2005, we felt that this effort was appropriate for the time.  By the second half of 2007, D&D Distributing had started the process of testing new items as well as taking steps necessary to ensure that older items were lead safe.  We had contacted the factory of the Love Testers again in 2007, and they responded that they had done their own testing to confirm that these items used lead-free metal.

We believed that this was enough evidence to make a reasonable assumption that the Love Tester items did not contain lead.

In early 2009, we were visited by CPSC Officer Marcus Morris.  Officer Morris randomly selected items for x-ray testing, as well as several items offered by D&D staff, and a few items did have lead content in excess of the new limits.  These items were ordered to stop sale.  It was our intention to evaluate every questionable item imported previous to new federal law (CPSIA act of 2008), and test them using CPSC’s x-ray gun.  Unfortunately, the Love Tester items were missed during this time.  Since early 2009, we have had several other visits from Officer Morris, and many other items were offered by D&D to be tested.

CPSC has determined that the Love Tester items are for children 12 and under, and D&D agrees to comply with the CPSC’s decision to recall the items.

Best regards,

D&D Distributing-Wholesale, Inc.

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