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April 2, 1996

Release # 96-092
CPSC: Kate Premo
(301) 504-0580 Ext. 1187

CPSC & The Americas Co. Announce Wooden Armadillo and Turtle Recall

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), The Americas Company of San Francisco, Calif., is recalling approximately 42,000 wooden armadillos and turtles. The products are hazardous because they contain a level of lead in the painted surface that violates the law and is dangerous to children if consumed.

The wooden armadillos and turtles, with bodies measuring between one and four inches long, are made of dried gourds and are painted in various colors and patterns. The armadillos and turtles have movable heads and the larger armadillos also have movable tails.

A sticker on the bottom of the armadillos and turtles reads, "Hecho En Mexico" ("Made in Mexico"). The large armadillos' hang tags read, "Folk Art *** The Nature Company, Berkeley, CA *** sku #696807 *** Item 696807 *** $14.00/xxx."

Six retailers, including The Nature Company stores, sold the armadillos and turtles nationwide from May 1995 to February 1996 for between $4 and $14 each.

Consumers should immediately take the armadillos and turtles away from children and return the items to the store where purchased for a full refund or exchange. Consumers can also return armadillos and turtles with proof of purchase directly to The Americas Company, 1977 Union Street, San Francisco, Calif. 94123. The Americas Co. will exchange the product for a new one that meets CPSC standards. For more information, consumers should call The Americas at (800) ARTIFAX (278-4329) between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday.

The Americas and CPSC are not aware of any injuries involving these products. This recall is being conducted to prevent the possibility of injury.

This matter came to CPSC's attention as a result of a referral from the Texas Department of Health, Austin, Texas.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission protects the public from the unreasonable risk of injury or death from 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. To report a dangerous product or a product-related injury and for information on CPSC's fax-on-demand service, call CPSC's hotline at (800) 638-2772 or CPSC's teletypewriter at (800) 638-8270. To order a press release through fax-on-demand, call (301) 504-0051 from the handset of your fax machine and enter the release number. Consumers can report product hazards to