Reebok agrees to pay civil penalty

March 18, 2008 at 11:47 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 18 (UPI) -- The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Reebok International Ltd. will pay a $1 million penalty for violating the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

The CPSC said the Canton, Mass., manufacturer of athletic shoes and apparel agreed to pay the penalty -- the largest for such a violation -- in connection with the recall of 300,000 bracelets.

The penalty settles allegations that Reebok imported and distributed charm bracelets that contained toxic levels of lead. The charm bracelets were provided as gifts with the purchase of various styles of children's footwear.

In March 2006, a 4-year-old boy from Minneapolis who swallowed the bracelet's heart-shaped pendant died.

The FHSA bans toxic levels of accessible lead in toys and other children's products.

"This civil penalty sends a clear message that the CPSC will not allow companies to put children's safety at risk," said CPSC Acting Chairman Nancy Nord. "Preventing dangerous metal jewelry from reaching the hands of children is a priority for our agency."

Reebok agreed to pay the penalty but denied it violated federal law.

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