The Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling approximately 215,000 pairs of children’s sunglasses. Manufactured in China and imported to the U.S. by FGX International, the glasses feature surface paint that contains excessive levels of lead, which is prohibited under federal law.
“Consumers should immediately take these sunglasses away from children and return them to FGX International for a free replacement or refund,” the CPSC says in a recall statement. FGX International is headquartered in Smithfield, RI, and is not an ASI-listed supplier.
Issued late last week, the recall centers on 20 styles of Disney, Marvel, and Sears/Kmart brand children’s sunglasses. Styles include Marvel Spider-Man, Disney’s Cars, Jake and The Never Land Pirates, Doc McStuffins and the SK2 Sears/Kmart private label brand. The recalled sunglasses were sold at Bon Ton, CVS, Kmart, Rite-Aid, Walgreens and other retail stores nationwide from December 2013 to March 2014 for between $7 and $13.
“Although the recall did not specify how much lead was found in the paints, it would be safe to assume that the factory that manufactured the sunglasses did not take the necessary precautions to prevent the use of lead-containing paints in their facilities,” said Leeton Lee, vice president of regulatory compliance and general counsel at Top 40 supplier ETS Express (asi/51197). “Despite the enactment of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008, it’s clear that there are still products being produced that violate safety regulations.”
Lee said suppliers and distributors in the ad specialty industry should implement policies and processes to prevent similar situations from negatively impacting their businesses. Suppliers and their factories must put into play best practices that reduce the use of non-compliant materials, he says. Additionally, it’s wise to always conduct product safety testing prior to the shipping and distribution of all products, particularly items intended for children. Meanwhile, Lee said, requiring written proof that appropriate testing was conducted can help protect industry firms against reputation damage and lawsuits.
“Recalls are extremely expensive and can severely damage a company’s brand and valuable business relationships with clients,” said Lee. “Having the proper testing done is a miniscule expense when compared with the collateral damage done to a business when they must announce and conduct a recall.”