The Center for Environmental Health (CEH) in California recently reported on the testing of 250 children’s products, finding high lead levels in seven of the items. These include Barbie, Disney, and Dora brands. While the number of products found containing high lead levels has decreased from last year, the high amounts of lead found is disturbing. Of the seven products found to contain higher-than-legal lead levels, the range of lead levels varied from twice the legal limit to 65 times the legal limit.

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has released a letter to the retailers of these items (including Target, Walgreens, Sears, and TJ Maxx) notifying them that his office will be enforcing lead standards. The testing commissioned by CEH was funded by a grant from the California Attorney General.

At a town meeting on toy safety in New York, Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the CPSC, stated that the decrease in numbers of toys with high lead levels this year is a result of tougher lead standards in the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH, stated that parents should remain aware this holiday season that some children’s products contain high lead levels and called for manufacturers and retailers to do more to protect children from this hazard.

The lead provisions in the CPSIA have gone into effect, but the testing requirement was stayed by the CPSC until at least February 2010.