A Halloween Recall For "Ugly Teeth"

Halloween Ugly Teeth CBS

The government announced an 11th-hour recall Wednesday to warn consumers that fake Halloween teeth sold by the tens of thousands since last year contain excessive amounts of lead.

The $2 packages of "Ugly Teeth" are only the latest in a long line of Chinese-made toys and novelty items recalled because of lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced the recall on Halloween, in a late-morning news release.

The agency estimates that since January 2006, retailers have sold about 43,000 eight-piece packages of the party favors. There were no immediate reports of injuries or illness.

Amscan Inc. of Elmsford, N.Y., imported the fake teeth. A message left with the company was not immediately returned.

The federal agency worked quickly with Amscan to announce the recall, commission spokesman Scott Wolfson. Wolfson refused to say when the commission learned of the potential risk, other than to say it took "a matter of days" to negotiate the recall.

CBS News correspondent Hari Sreenivasan reported Monday that a chemistry professor at Ohio's Ashland University tipped off the agency about the joke teeth after testing a variety of Halloween-themed items for lead content. Paint on the teeth contained 100 times the allowable level of lead, according to the broadcast report.

After that report, retailers like Factory Card and Party Outlet, Party City, Halloween USA and distributors like AMSCAN responded to the news and pulled the teeth off of store shelves, removed the products from their inventory and warned their sales associates not to sell them, offering full refunds to those who had purchased the toys.

Millions of Chinese-made toys have been recalled in recent months. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., this week urged the commission's head, Nancy Nord, to resign.

Pelosi said Nord has failed to see the gravity of the situation and continues to oppose Democratic efforts to double her agency's dollars and give it more authority. Nord said she has no intention of resigning.

In addition to the "Ugly Teeth" warning, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission released three additional toy recalls today because of lead paint dangers.

Toys "R" Us recalled about 16,000 Chinese-made Elite Operations toys because of lead contamination. This is the second recall of lead-tainted children's products for Toys "R" Us this month. On Oct. 4, the company recalled about 15,000 Totally Me! Funky Room Decor Sets, because surface paints on the back of the decorating kits' mirrors contained high levels of lead.

Wednesday's recall included four Elite Operations toy sets: the Command Patrol Center, the Barracuda Helicopter, the Super Rigs set and a three-pack of 8-inch figures. No other Elite Operations toys are included in the recall.

Also announced on Halloween were recalls for "Galaxy Warriors" toy figures distributed by Henry Gordy International and the wooden game pieces from Ribbit board games. The posable "Galaxy Warrior" spacemen were sold at Family Dollar Stores nationwide from January 2006 through October 2007 and the Ribbit board games were sold through the independent toy consultants, SimplyFun.

See the latest recalls from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

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