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Mattel Recalls 9 Million Toys Made in China

  International  -   POSTED: 2007/08/14 14:51

Mattel Inc. recalled millions of its Chinese-made toys across Europe on Tuesday, including Barbie and Batman, due to safety concerns.

Millions of toys have also been recalled in the United States due to hazards from small, powerful magnets and lead paint. Shares in the largest U.S. toy company fell as much as 6 percent.

The European Commission, which oversees consumer safety across the European Union, said it had not been notified of any recalls under RAPEX, the bloc's rapid alert system under which countries must immediately report any cases of unsafe products.

A spokesman for Mattel in Belgium said the company had issued a "voluntary recall" of products across the 27-member bloc. He could not say how many products in total would have to be returned across the whole of the EU.

Mattel in Germany said it was recalling 1 million toys from the German market. Nearly 2 million toys sold in Britain and Ireland were being recalled due to concerns linked to small magnetic toys.

Recalls of thousands of toys were also confirmed in the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

A total of 18.2 million toys around the world are being recalled, the company said.

In 2006, 48 percent of all products notified under RAPEX originated in China and Brussels warned Beijing last month that the 27-nation bloc would take measures and even ban Chinese products if the situation did not improve.

Earlier this month Mattel recalled 1.5 million of its toys worldwide sold through its Fisher-Price unit and made in China, including popular Sesame Street characters Elmo and Big Bird, over concerns their paint might contain too much lead.

Tuesday's recall concerned a number of Mattel products also sold through Fisher Price including Batman, Polly Pocket, Doggie Day Care, Dora and Pixar Sarge die-cast toy cars, also due to concerns over lead paint linked to health problems in children.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said there had been reports of three children swallowing more than one magnet and suffering intestinal perforations that required surgery.

When more than one magnet is swallowed, the magnets can attract each other and cause intestinal perforation or blockage, which can be fatal.


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