Canadian Plastics

Mega Brands accused of dangerous lead levels in toys

Montreal, Que.-based plastic toy manufacturer Mega Brands faced a public relations nightmare last week after a Queb...

October 22, 2007   Canadian Plastics

Montreal, Que.-based plastic toy manufacturer Mega Brands faced a public relations nightmare last week after a Quebec magazine published erroneous lead test results for the company’s products.

As part of its report on popular toys for toddlers and infants, Protegez-Vous tested 32 toys for lead. According to the magazine’s report, two yellow blocks from Mega Brands’ 80-piece Maxi System bag gave lead level readings of 663 parts per million (ppm) and 1,180 ppm. These reported numbers were in excess of the generally accepted standard of 90 ppm.

However, Health Canada tested the Mega Brands products and found the product to be safe. Despite being officially cleared, Mega Brands could not obtain an injunction against Protegez-Vous.

“We are pleased that Health Canada tested Mega Bloks for lead and has confirmed that the product is safe,” said Mega Brands president and CEO Marc Bertrand on Oct. 17. “The confusion that Protegez-Vous created has been put to rest. There is nothing more important to Mega Brands than the safety of our toys.”

A day earlier, Mega Brands said the publication had used the incorrect test for lead content and made no attempt to corroborate its results.

“Simply put, Protegez-Vous used a paint test on an unpainted plastic product and reached a misleading conclusion,” said Bertrand. “We promptly notified Protegez-Vous of their mistake and more importantly confirmed through independent safety testing and government safety agencies that the results published by Protegez-Vous were inaccurate.”

The company noted that in addition to passing Health Canada’s test, the Canadian Toy Association confirmed that the publication used the wrong test for lead content. Bureau Veritas, an independent safety testing lab, said the Canadian-made products have consistently met the highest international safety standards.


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