I-Team: Toys With Toxic Levels of Lead Sold on eBay

Ultimate Gem Machines from Cra-Z-Art were pulled off the shelves at physical toy stores because of lead contamination, but the I-Team found the popular items were still available for purchase online. 

The I-Team bought the Ultimate Gem Machine from three different eBay sellers despite a recall and testing that found toxic levels of lead in the toy. 

After the I-Team reported the purchases to federal regulators, eBay pulled the advertisements. Kari Ramirez, an eBay spokesperson, said the company forbids sellers from selling recalled products, but did not explain how the Ultimate Gem Machine fell through the cracks. 

"At eBay, we have taken steps this week to remove any listings for these products and are in the process of putting filters in place to alert sellers to the recall and flag new listings for review," Ramirez wrote in an email to the I-Team. 

She added that it is ultimately the individual seller’s responsibility to ensure the products sold are not subject to recalls. 

Patty Davis, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, praised eBay for taking quick action to block users from selling any more recalled Ultimate Gem Machines. 

"eBay has a great relationship with CPSC and once they realize there has been a gap they act very quickly," Davis said. "We would prefer that these online platforms recognize right away off the bat when something is for sale online that is recalled but you have to realize there are millions and millions of new postings of products every single day." 

Last winter, the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman conducted tests that found levels of lead between 120 and 980 parts per billion in the wristbands that come as part of the Ultimate Gem Machine kit and three other Cra-Z-Art products. The federal limit on lead is 100 parts per billion. 

Schneiderman called for an immediate end of sales and a recall of the high-lead products. 

LaRose Industries, the New Jersey-based manufacturer of Cra-Z-Art products, did not respond to the I-Team’s questions about the lead-laden toys. 

Consumers can search the CPSC's database for recalled products here.

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