Frequently Asked Questions
We understand that a product recall can be a distressing and confusing situation, and often results in more questions than can be answered on our remedy process pages. Thus, we've compiled a listing of frequently asked questions regarding our product recalls to help you obtain the information you need, and to help you understand how we're working to resolve the current recall-and working toward reducing future recall risks.
Why are these toys being recalled in Canada?
The toys are being recalled by TOMY CANADA LIMITED due to a technical compliance issue, not a safety issue. Although the regulatory limit of barium in paint is the same in Canada and the United States, Canada requires a different method of measuring the barium level. And, using the Canadian methodology, some paint in the recalled toys has barium at levels greater than the regulatory limit and is technically out of compliance with Health Canada’s Toys Regulations of the Canada Consumer Products Safety Act. TOMY CANADA LIMITED, which markets the toys in Canada, retained a well-known independent Canadian toxicological firm to assess whether the barium in the paint could pose a danger to children. The independent company concluded that the barium in the paint does NOT pose a health risk to children given the intended and foreseeable use of these toys Click here to read the Executive Summary of the Toxicological Review and Exposure Assessment Report. Nevertheless, because the toys are not in compliance with Canada’s Toys Regulations, TOMY is conducting a voluntary recall in Canada to assure full compliance with Canadian regulatory requirements.
- Should children with these toys stop using them?
Our top priority is always the health and safety of children. And, while TOMY is voluntarily recalling the toys that are not in compliance with the Canadian regulations, we do not believe there is any reason to be concerned. Independent evaluation by a well-regarded Canadian toxicological firm determined that children may continue to play with these toys safely. Canadian scientists concluded that the barium levels in the paint together with the intended and foreseeable use of these toys do not pose a health safety risk. Click here to read the Executive Summary of the Toxicological Review and Exposure Assessment Report. However, in light of the advisory issued by Health Canada, consumers may wish to stop using the affected products.
- How do the two testing methods differ?
Although the regulatory limit of barium in paint is the same in Canada and the United States, Canada requires a different method of measuring the barium level. Test methods used by agencies in the United States, Europe and most other countries mimic the conditions of the human stomach, providing a more realistic measure of what would dissolve in a child's stomach. Canada's method dissolves more of the barium in the paint than what could actually dissolve in the stomach. The recalled toys meet the regulatory limits and safety requirements in United States and European Union.
- What is barium?
Barium is a naturally occurring metal that can exist in a solid, powder or crystal form. Barium and its compounds, such as barium sulphate and barium carbonate, are naturally occurring and can be found in underground deposits as well as in food, drinking water, and air.
- What are the potential sources of human exposure to barium?
Food is the main source of barium exposure for the average Canadian, with foods such as Brazil nuts, pecans, peanuts, seaweed, bran flakes, fish, and certain plants containing relatively high levels. Because certain barium compounds (e.g., barium sulphate and barium carbonate) do not dissolve well in water, the amount of barium found in drinking water varies. In addition, barium and its compounds are used for a variety of purposes. Barium sulphate, is used to make paint, bricks, tires, rubber and glass, but is perhaps best known for its use in performing medical tests in x-rays of the stomach and the intestine. Other barium compounds are used in a broad range of products, ranging from ceramics to fuel and oil additives.
- Have there been instances of children ingesting the paint from any of these toys and, if so, what effects did the children experience?
No. There are no known instances of children ingesting paint from any of these products and for very good reasons: First, the toys are large and metal, thus not bendable or chewable. Second, during application, the paint is melted and fused with the metal so that it can withstand outdoor conditions. For these reasons, it is highly unlikely that a child could ingest any of the paint. Further, when the independent testing firm evaluated the possible health risk in the unlikely event that a child could manage to ingest paint, potential exposure was found to be very low.
- What products are being recalled?
Only selected products shipped to retailers between September 2010 and September 2011 are subject to recall. A full roster and pictures and descriptions are available on this website. Click here to determine if you have a product subject to this recall.
- What should a parent do if he or she has one of the recalled products?
Click here to determine if you have a product subject to this recall.
- I have a question that wasn't addressed here. How can I contact you directly?
Contact our Consumer Care Center via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll-free at (866) 725-4407. Our Consumer Care Center is open Monday through Friday 8:00am - 5:00pm CST.