Agrees to pay $1m civil penalty after a product recall

Reebok has agreed to pay a $1m civil penalty following a recall of charm bracelets that contained dangerous levels of lead.

This penalty is the largest for a Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) violation and follows a recall announced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and Reebok of 300,000 bracelets.

The penalty settles allegations that Reebok International Ltd., imported and distributed charm bracelets that contained toxic levels of lead.

The charm bracelets were provided as free 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. CPSC's enforcement policy urges manufacturers of children's metal jewelry to keep lead content below 0.06% by weight.

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

In agreeing to settle the matter, Reebok denied that it violated federal law.