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Unless chewed on, toys pose low risk

A child's home is more likely than toys to be a source of lead poisoning, local health officials said. On Tuesday, some toys manufactured in China for Mattel, including Polly Pockets and a popular "Cars" toy, were recalled because they contained ...

A child's home is more likely than toys to be a source of lead poisoning, local health officials said.

On Tuesday, some toys manufactured in China for Mattel, including Polly Pockets and a popular "Cars" toy, were recalled because they contained lead paint.

Those toys should immediately be removed from the home, but the health risk is low unless a child ingests the paint, health officials said.

"Simply playing with the toys isn't a health risk," said Ruth Bachmeier, director of nursing for Fargo Cass Public Health. "The risk comes when a child chews on the toy."

Although the risk is low, it is reasonable to request a blood lead test if a young child has chewed on one of the recalled toys or the object's paint is chipped or peeling, said Dr. Chris Tiongson, a pediatrician at MeritCare in Fargo.


The screening involves a finger prick and can be ordered by a family physician or pediatrician.

The biggest risk for lead poisoning is found in homes built before 1950, especially those that have recently been renovated, Tiongson said. Flakes of lead-based paint or dust particles from the paint can cause health problems.

Many young children are screened for lead poisoning during routine physicals.

Generally, high levels of lead in the blood can be traced to a child's environment, said Kathy Anderson, director of nursing at Clay County Public Health.

Most of the toys on Tuesday's recall list aren't designed to be put in the mouth, she said. Still, toys made for older children may be chewed on by a younger sibling.

"If parents have concerns, they should check with their primary physician," she said.

Lead is toxic to the nervous system, Tiongson said. It can cause learning and behavior problems in young children. Many times there are no physical symptoms until the health problems become serious.

Earlier this year Tiongson tested a handful of children for blood lead levels when some Thomas the Tank Engine toys were recalled because of lead-based paint. None of the children tested had high levels of lead in their blood, he said.


"The risk is low," he said. "There's no reason to panic."

Readers can reach Forum reporter Erin Hemme Froslie at (701) 241-5534

List of toys included in Mattel recall

List of model names and product numbers for the nearly 9 million recalled Mattel Inc. toys, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:

- B2632 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Hangin' Out House

- B3158 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Treetop Clubhouse

- B3201 Polly Pocket! Spa Day

- B7118 Polly Totally! Polly Place Totally Tiki Diner


- G8605 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik Boutique

- H1537 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik City Pretty Playset

- H1538 Polly Pocket! Quik-Clik Sporty Style Playset

- H3211 Polly Pocket! Totally Zen Playset

- 55503 Polly Pocket! Happenin' Pet Station

- B2631 Polly Pocket! Polly Place Magnetic Additions Assortment

- B3203 Polly Pocket! Activity Lunchbox

- B3204 Polly Pocket! Activity Locker


- B3207 Polly Pocket! Collectible Lip Gloss

- B3209 Polly Pocket! Collectible Make Up Powder Puff

- B3210 Polly Pocket! Dip N' Dive Pool

- B3396 Polly Pocket! Birthday Surprise

- B7078 Polly Pocket! Dazzlin' Pet Show Divine Dogs

- B7082 Polly Pocket! Rick's Magic Show

- B7125 Polly Pocket! Sweet Treats

- B7127 Polly Pocket! Birthday Mailbox


- B7128 Polly Pocket! Stretch Polly Disco Lamp

- B7129 Polly Pocket! Jewelry Box Purple

- B8478 Polly Pocket! Polly Magnet Bus

- B9521 Polly Pocket! Collectible Caboodle

- B9522 Polly Pocket! Activity Lunch Box Pink

- B9523 Polly Pocket! Activity Locker Orange

- B9525 Polly Pocket! Polly Glitter Puff

- B9578 Polly Pocket! Collectible Caboodle Purple


- B9929 Polly Pocket! Fashion Boutique on the Go

- C0504 Polly Pocket! Birthday Mailbox Pink

- C0505 Polly Pocket! Jewelry Box Yellow

- C1341 Polly Pocket! Disco Lamp

- C1342 Polly Pocket! Disco Lamp Purple

- G8602 Polly Pocket! Mermaid Stars

- G8606 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Playset

- G8612 Polly Pocket! Snow Cool Hotel

- G8614 Polly Pocket! Quick Click House of Style Playset

- G8615 Polly Pocket! Polly by Me Totally Beadiful

- G8616 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Penthouse

- H1553 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Movie Time Playset

- J1659 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Limo-Scene Vehicle

- J1661 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Dial A Style Lila

- J1662 Polly Pocket! Pollywood Dial A Style Lea

- J1670 Polly Pocket! Stick N' Style

- J1681 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Rockin' Theme Park Playset

- J1687 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Dress N' Drive Lounge Playset

- J1695 Pollyworld Theme Park Party Quick Click Doll and Fashion

- J4169 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Polly Doll

- J4170 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Crissy Doll

- J4171 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Lea Doll

- J4172 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Quick Click Shani Doll

- J9305 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Costume Art Lea

- J9306 Polly Pocket! Pollyworld Gift Shop Lila

- J9648 Polly Pocket! Twirl and Swirl Beauty Case

- J9965 Pollyworld Dial a Song Polly Fashions

- J9966 Pollyworld Dial a Song Polly Fashions

- K3460 Pollyworld Rockin' Tour Bus

- H1554 Polly Pocket! Quick Click Pool Party Playset

- H1532 Doggie Day Care Coco

- H1533 Doggie Day Care Sparley

- G4461 Doggie Day Care Lula and Baby

- G4462 Doggie Day Care Crockett and Baby

- G4464 Doggie Day Care Taffy and Baby

- G4459 Doggie Day Care Snack Time with Cookie

- G4460 Doggie Day Care Diaper Change with Ginger

- H1530 Doggie Day Care Ice Cream with Ranger

- G9703 Doggie Day Care Puppy Park with Dixie

- G4457 Doggie Day Care Dream House Nursery with Honey

- G4458 Doggie Day Care Bath Time with Beau

- J 9472 Barbie and Tanner play set

- J9560 Barbie and Tanner play set

- M1253 "Sarge" toy car sold alone

- K5925 "Sarge" toy car sold in a package of two

- J1944 Batman Magna Battle Armor Batman figure

- J1946 Batman Magna Fight Wing Batman figure

- J5114 Batman Secret ID figure

- J5115 Batman Flying Fox figure

- J4142 One Piece Triple Slash Zolo Roronoa figure

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