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Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan
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November 24, 2008

MADIGAN URGES CONSUMERS TO "PLAY IT SAFE" DURING HOLIDAY SEASON

Attorney General Issues Safe Shopping Guide to Help Parents Identify Recalled Products

Chicago — Attorney General Lisa Madigan today released her second annual Safe Shopping Guide to help parents avoid recalled children's products as they shop for holiday gifts. The guide contains color photos and descriptions of hundreds of products recalled during 2008, including toys, jewelry, furniture and clothes.

"During 2008, there have been more than 170 recalls, covering 569 different products and more than 18 million items," Madigan said. "With this onslaught of recalls, it is a struggle for parents and grandparents to make sure that they are selecting the safest gifts for their children. My Safe Shopping Guide is a comprehensive resource to help parents protect their children by making safe holiday purchases and ensuring that all of the products already in their homes are also safe."

The 110 -page guide lists recalled products, provides the product name and manufacturer, and describes the unsafe features.

Because lead poisoning poses a particular health danger for children, Madigan's guide also includes detailed information to educate parents about lead poisoning and to encourage concerned parents to have their child's blood lead level checked. The guide contains a list of blood lead testing clinics in Illinois and a list of the state's high-risk zip codes for lead poisoning.

Consumers can obtain free copies of the Safe Shopping Guide, including editions with background information in Spanish and Polish, in a number of ways. Consumers can:

  1. Download or view the guide on the Attorney General's Web site at www.illinoisattorneygeneral.gov,
  2. Request a hard copy via mail, free of charge, by calling the Attorney General's Recall Hotline at 1-888-414-7678, or
  3. Pick up a copy at any of the Attorney General's main and regional offices. The office locations are:

    Chicago  - Main Office

    100 W. Randolph St., 11th Floor

    (312) 814-3000
    TTY: (312) 814-3374

    Chicago  - West Regional Office

    306 N. Pulaski Road

    (773) 265-8808

    Chicago  - South Regional Office

    7906 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

    (773) 488-2600

    Springfield – Main Office

    500 S. 2nd St.

    (217) 782-1090
    TTY: (217) 785-2771

    Carbondale – Main Office

    1001 E. Main St.

    (618) 529-6400/6401
    TTY: (618) 529-6403

    East Central Illinois Regional Office

    1776 E. Washington St., Urbana

    (217) 278-3366
    TTY: (217) 278-3371

    Northern Illinois Regional Office

    200 S. Wyman St., Suite 307, Rockford

    (815) 967-3883
    TTY: (815) 967-3891

    West Central Illinois Regional Office

    628 Maine St., Quincy

    (217) 223-2221
    TTY: (217) 223-2254

    Metro East Illinois Regional Office

    201 West Pointe Drive, Suite 7, Belleville

    (618) 236-8616
    TTY: (618) 236-8619

Madigan also urges consumers to sign up for recall notifications at www.cpsc.gov.

The information in the Safe Shopping Guide is particularly critical for consumers given the increasing number of recalls in recent months. Faced with a high number of recalls, area retailers often struggle to remove dangerous products from shelves promptly and to comply with Illinois' recall notification laws, which require retailers that sold recalled products to post the recall notice in their stores.

In addition, millions of recalled items that are already in children's homes and places they visit, such as grandparents' homes and daycare centers, may pose a threat to children's safety. With the help of this guide, parents and others who care for children can be sure to remove recalled products from their homes.

The Safe Shopping Guide is also especially important this year due to the tough economic times. In this economy, parents are more likely to search for bargains online and in second hand stores. However, these sellers rarely keep up with recall information and remove recalled products.

The 2008 Safe Shopping Guide is one part of Madigan's comprehensive efforts to increase awareness of recalled products. Madigan's office routinely works with retailers across Illinois and the Illinois Retail Merchants Association to ensure recalled products are taken off shelves. The Attorney General also has partnered with the Illinois Hospital Association, the Illinois State Medical Society and pediatricians to spread information about recalls to parents throughout the state.

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