Mattel and Toy Safety Mattel, the world’s largest toys company, had been faced with some rough challenges due to some safety scandals revolving toy design and manufacturing in China. During August 2007 Mattel was forced to extremely recall toys due to loose magnets and excess lead found in some of the Mattel toys that posed immediate danger to the children that played with them. “Mattel voluntarily recalled 1. 5 million Chinese made, Fisher-Price product, after the company learned that they contained too much lead. A second recall of Mattel’s most popular items such as Barbie, Batman, Polly Pocket and Doggie Daycare play sets. The items contained small magnets that could fall out of the toy and be swallowed by young children. Since responsibility will be attributed to Mattel no matter what, accepting the responsibility is vital for Mattel to maintain credibility. Throwing the blame on others looks bad and invites a counter strike by the accused.
Mattel quickly sought to undo the hazard in an open and respectful manner; through taking action hastily they presented their concern for consumers and the welfare of their children. Mattel’s CEO Bob Eckert’s first response to fixing the problem was an immediate recall of toys and issuing apologetic public statements. The question many have is who should be held responsible for exposing children to hazardous substances. To call into question who should be accountable draws many questions that can pass blame that points in many directions. The recall shed light on the fact that many U. S. ame brands that manufacture overseas use contractors that provide materials; it can be a very time consuming process to maintain how these contractors conduct business and ensuring that they are following appropriate and safe health standards. Early Light whom is responsible for hiring seven various subcontractors, each responsible for using cheaper lead based paints. Mattel took initiative by not placing the blame on their Chinese contractor. Early Light subcontracted the painting of parts to Hung Li Da. The vendors were required to use the paint that had been provided by the providers.
Instead Hung Li Da violated Mattel’s standards and used a uncertified paint supply. Zhang Shuhong had apparently committed suicide; just days after Mattel blamed his company, Lee Der Industrial, for the recall of one million toys coated in toxic lead paint. The Chinese government was under scrutiny in early 2007 year they were behind the recall of other consumer products that had traces of lead and other hazardous chemicals found in dog food, toothpaste, toys, and seafood yet, due to high exports and high demand, the Chinese economy did not suffer.
At the time China was reeling from political corruption within many governmental branches. Misusing of funds and taking of bribes by governmental officials whose priorities should have been the welfare of the Chinese peoples and the worldwide consumers who buy and trade from China. Zheng Xiaoyu, the head of the Chinese Foods and Drug Administration, was executed July of 2007 this was a major sign that China had been investigating internal corruption and its aftermath that trickled into marketing industry, later factoring into the lead paint recalls.
Over $800,000 in bribes is what Xiaoyu was accused pocketing before retiring in 2005. Following the execution the Chinese government began to investigate to correct the corruption within its government . “Approximately 250,000 U. S. children aged 1-5 years have blood lead levels greater than 10 micrograms of lead per deciliter of blood, the level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated. Lead poisoning can affect nearly every system in the body.
Because lead poisoning often occurs with no obvious symptoms, it frequently goes unrecognized. ” In 2008 the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act was implemented, its purpose is to improve testing requirements. The act incorporated the Lead-Free Toys Act, which is a bill directing the CPSC to classify toys that contain lead and other hazardous chemicals and increased the budget of the CPSC who had been suffering from understaffing and underfunding. It is our responsibility to ensure the toys we supply are safe.
You cannot rely on the toy being safe simply because it has been offered for sale to you. There are many was to protect our children from hazardous products. Throughout the world there is an estimated 300,000 toxic levels of lead damage. Lead poisoning can be very dangerous and can cause serious injury as well as death. Making sure that the world is aware of this serious situation should definitely be a priority. Not only is lead being found in the homes, but jewelry, and can be transferred from the pipes of our drinking water.
There are many simple methods to avoiding lead poisoning and they start with being aware to the toys/products that contain higher levels and avoiding them, not purchasing any toys made in China because the manufacturing standards are still hard to investigate and control, teaching children to wash hands regularly, and finally by constantly staying informed through reading, research and the news. We are all responsible for our own welfare and the welfare of others. References Barboza, D. (n. d. ). Scandal and suicide in China: A dark side of toys – The New York Times.
The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved July 3, 2011, from http://www. nytimes. com/2007/08/23/business/worldbusiness/23iht-23suicide. 7222472. html Barboza, D. (n. d. ). Mattel recalls toys made in China – The New York Times. The New York Times – Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. Retrieved July 2, 2011, from http://www. nytimes. com/2007/08/02/business/worldbusiness/02iht-toys. 5. 6965917. html? _r=2 Lawrence, A. T. , & Weber, J. (2011). Business and society: stakeholders, ethics, public policy (13th ed. ). Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin.