Mattel has revealed in a letter to a House Energy and Commerce panel that some recalled toys had nearly 180 times the legal amount of lead in them.
Mattel’s letter read: “The reported noncompliant lead levels in paint, so far, range from just over the applicable standard to about 11 per cent or 110,000 parts per million”.
The congressional subcommittee will conduct two days of hearings where they will question both Mattel’s CEO, Robert Eckert and Nancy Nord, the acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
In the US, the legal amount of lead in paint is 600 parts per million or 0.06 per cent.
Children can suffer from learning and behavioural problems as a result of lead poisoning
Meanwhile, Australian and New Zealand governments have banned toys that contain unsafe levels of lead, replacing the voluntary industry standards. Companies and individuals will face hefty fines if they supply toys with a lead content of more than 90 parts per million.