MSNBC reports that in a settlement with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Mattel Inc. and it's subsidiary, Fisher-Price, have agreed to pay a $2.3 million civil fine for importing and selling toys with excessive levels of lead.

In 2007, Mattel was among dozens of manufacturers who yanked their toys off the shelves when excessive amounts of lead were found in the paint. Lead produces bright colors, is inexpensive, and it lasts forever. Further, it’s durable, flexible, fast-drying and resists mildew. China mass produces it, and it’s easier to get it there than paint with safer additives like zinc and bromide, which don’t match the brightness or strength of lead. In the US, lead paint is still used on our highways, and in industrial settings.

These toys are most dangerous for kids aged 0-6 because they are in their "pica" years - a period when they could chew on the toys and ingest lead into their bodies. There is no known safe level of lead in the body. Even at small doses, lead can cause developmental delays, loss of IQ points and other problems. The loss of IQ points due to lead exposure is permanent even after the lead is excreted from the body.

I have handled hundreds of cases on behalf of lead-poisoned children in the City of St. Louis. To find out if The Simon Law Firm can help with an environmental lawsuit, contact Todd Hageman.