Thousands of wooden toys in the Thomas the Tank Engine range are being recalled after it emerged that their paint coating could be contaminated with lead.
The affected toys – which are believed to have been made in China – were sold in shops between January 2005 and June 2007.
Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects such as vomiting and diarrhoea and even lead to brain damage in severe cases.
Last Wednesday up to 1.5m toys were withdrawn in the US and Canada, and on Friday the recall was extended to the UK, where it applies to nine specific toys.
Toys recalled include: Red James Engine; Red Skarloey Engine; Red Water Tanker Truck; Red James No. 5 Coal Tender; Red Hook & Ladder Truck; Red Lights & Sounds Engine; Red James No.5 Lights & Sounds Coal Tender; Red Musical Caboose and Yellow Railroad Crossing Sign.
The front of the packaging has the logo ‘Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway’ on the upper left-hand corner and a manufacturing code may be located on the bottom of the product or inside the battery cover.
However, any of the above toys with codes containing ‘WJ’ or ‘AZ’ are not included in the recall.
Manufacturers RC2 Corporation said that no other Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway or other Thomas & Friends brand toys are affected by the recall.
Consumers in the UK and Irish Republic can call a freephone helpline – 0800 707 6652 – for further information and instructions on obtaining replacements, or email RC2recall@QATC.co.uk