October 23, 2009
Department Recalls Halloween Costume Sold at Walgreen’s Stores
HARTFORD, October 23– The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection is recalling a girl’s “Punky Witch” Halloween costume sold by Walgreen’s stores for violating federal lead standards, Consumer Protection Commissioner Jerry Farrell, Jr. said today.
“These costumes are scarier than they should be,” Farrell said. “We found that the rivets decorating the outfit have twice as much lead as allowed by law, qualifying them as a banned hazardous substance. We’ve removed all “Punky Witch” costumes from Walgreen’s stores in Connecticut, and have notified the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission. These costumes are now banned from sale in the state, and I urge anyone who may already have purchased the “Punky Witch” costume to return it to Walgreen’s for an exchange or refund.”
The Punky Witch costume’s metal rivets violate the lead threshold of 300 parts per million (PPM), Farrell said. Between July 1, 2009 and July 1, 2011, any children’s product with greater than 300 PPM total lead content by weight for any part of the product is a banned hazardous substance. After July 1, 2011 the allowable level of lead will drop to no greater than 100 parts per million total lead content by weight.
“These tougher standards are being enacted because in essence there is no truly safe amount of lead in any children’s product,” Farrell said. “Manufacturers are going to have to use other, safer, compounds in the manufacture of all children’s products.”
The “Punky Witch” costume (photos below) was sold statewide at Walgreen’s stores and imported by East West Distributing, a wholly owned subsidiary of Walgreen’s. The company indicates that its original samples tested well below 300 parts per million, and plans to retest samples of the costume.
Department of Consumer Protection inspectors took 51 “Punky Witch costumes off sale across the state. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has purchased “Punky Witch” samples and will be conducting its own testing to determine if a nationwide recall should be issued.