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Amazon agrees to remove toxic school supplies after investigation by Washington State

Amazon agrees to remove toxic school supplies after investigation by Washington State
[Photos: Pixabay/Pexels (Student) (Supplies)]

Amazon has agreed to remove toxic school supplies and other unsafe children’s products from its marketplace after an investigation by the Washington State attorney general’s office.

The probe found school supplies like backpacks and pencil cases, as well as items like jewelry, with levels of lead and cadmium that were much higher than what is allowed by law. The investigators identified 51 products with excessive lead and cadmium content, including a kids’ pencil case containing lead levels 80 times higher than the legal limit. In all, the attorney general’s office found that at least 15,188 purchases of products with illegal levels of lead and cadmium were sold from Amazon.com.

“As a parent, when I buy products for my kids, I expect them to be safe,” said Washington State attorney general Bob Ferguson while announcing the settlement with Amazon today. “All retailers must ensure that their products do not pose a threat to Washington children. If they don’t, they will hear from my office.”

In early 2019, Amazon contacted the people who had purchased the toxic school supplies, refunding some $200,000 in orders, and encouraged them to ditch the toxic items. Now, Amazon has entered into a nationwide legally binding agreement to block the sale of children’s schools supplies and jewelry on Amazon.com without lab reports and other proof from the sellers that the products are not toxic, according to the AG’s office.

In addition, Amazon will pay the attorney general’s office a $700,000 fine, which will be used to fund future environmental protection efforts and investigations into toxic children’s products.

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