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LATEST TOY RECALL RAMPS UP PARENTS' ANXIETY

Mattel apologizes; nearly a million of its Fisher-Price toys made in China are affected.

Wendy Schneider-Fisher is nervous about what toys to buy her children.

"I'm less inclined to buy anything from China," said Schneider-Fisher, of New Albany, Ohio, who was heading into a local Toys "R" Us on Thursday. "And I'm upset our government doesn't do more to stop it."

Schneider-Fisher's comments reflect the quandary many American parents face after the world's largest toy company, Mattel Inc., recalled almost 1-million Chinese-made toys because they may contain lead.

As if fears over contaminated toothpaste, poisoned pet food and faulty tires weren't enough, the latest recall of Chinese-made products has anxious parents rummaging through toy chests to find tainted Big Bird and Dora the Explorer toys.

It also has stressed-out toy companies going through their inventory to see if their products are harmless. And it has China, again, insisting that its products are safe.

On Thursday, Mattel's Fisher-Price brand announced it is recalling 83 types of toys - including the popular Big Bird, Elmo, Dora and Diego characters - because their paint contains excessive amounts of lead. The recall involves 967,000 plastic preschool toys made by a Chinese vendor and sold in the United States between May and August.

Under current U.S. regulations, children's products found to have more than 0.06 percent of lead are subject to a recall.

Mattel apologized Thursday to customers affected by a recall nearly a million toys from its Fisher-Price division and said the move will cut pretax operating income at the world's largest toymaker by $30-million.

"We apologize to everyone affected by this recall, especially those who bought the toys in question," said Robert A. Eckert, Mattel Inc.'s chairman and CEO.

FAST FACTS

Learn more

To determine whether you have toys affected by Mattel's recall, call the company's toll-free recall hot line at 1-800-916-4498 or visit: http://www.service.mattel.com/us/recall/default.asp?recall_id=52430

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