Calif. toys found with illegal lead levels

SACRAMENTO A new federal law limits the lead content in children's products to just 300 parts per million to lessen exposure to the potentially harmful substance.

But California Attorney General Jerry Brown found items like the Disney Fairies Water Lily Necklaces, sold by Walgreens, had more than 22,000 lead parts per million.

The Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit, at Tuesday Morning Stores, had nearly 7,000 parts per million, while Paula Fuchsia Shoes, at Sears, had almost 4,000.

"These things come in from China and all over the world. So it's quite a job to test it. It's my office's job that when we find out this stuff, send out the warning, protect the public," said Brown.

Parents like Donica Patchell were surprised stores didn't learn their lesson from the lead scare two years ago.

"As retailers, I would hope that they would be looking out for my children's best interest," said Patchell.

Eyewitness News visited several Capitol-area stores on Brown's list and found many products had already been taken off the shelves. But that may not be the case statewide.

Several reversible Croco belts were found at Target. The cash registers, though, wouldn't ring them up.

Target says it's looking into why the belts are still on the racks.

State Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco), who tried unsuccessfully to ban lead altogether in California, says this is probably just the tip of the iceberg.

"If this is the sample of the list, I think there are probably more products out there on the shelf," said Ma.

That motivates Jacque McGill to make wiser choices this holiday shopping season.

"I'm going to be doing a lot of reading to find out where the product comes from and what it's made of," said McGill.

A.G. Brown reported his findings to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which could order recalls of the lead-laced items, so that people who already have them at home could get rid of them.

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