It’s always a cause for concern when children’s toys are recalled, especially for things one thought were banned or outlawed decades ago. In this case, it’s a toy painted with paint containing excessive amounts of lead. While use of lead-based paint has been discontinued domestically since the late 1970s, lead-based paint is one of those things that, like asbestos, keep turning up from time to time, like a bad penny. It’s still used overseas, and the United States imports a multitude of things, including children’s toys, including, until recently, the Little Digger, which is manufactured in China. In the case of the Little Digger, the red powder-coated steel frame is the issue; the red paint contains excessive amounts of lead. “Wel-Bilt” is printed on the front of the bucket and the manufacture date is written on the tracking label located on the bucket.
The item number #28303 is printed only on the toy’s packaging. Little Digger has a manufacture date of August 2014 through June 2015, during which about 7000 of these toys were sold at Northern Tool + Equipment stores, through mail-order catalogues and online at www.amazon.com, www.kotulas.com and www.northerntool.com for about $30. No injuries have been reported, but the Consumer Products Safety Commission and the Florida department of Agriculture and Consumer Services advises that consumers stop using the toy immediately and put it out of the reach of children. For a refund of the purchase price, contact Northern Tool + Equipment toll free at (888) 518-0339 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Central Time, Monday through Friday or online at www.northerntool.com. Click on “Product Recalls” near the bottom of the homepage for more recall information.