Here's some good news if you're shopping for toys this year.
After recalling more than 21 million tainted toys last year, Mattel Inc. has agreed to a $12 million settlement with 39 states over lead contamination in toys made in China.
Maryland will receive nearly $235,000 as a result.
The toy company will also meet new federal lead standards early, before the regulations take effect next year. Mattel is lowering the acceptable level of lead from 600 parts per million to 90 parts per million.
How are you protecting yourself and your gift recipients from tainted toys this year?
Although Consumer Reports says that most big retailers aren't stocked with loads of lead-contaminated products, the researchers do recommend skipping the dollar store for children's products after nearly 3 million products were recalled from three dollar store chains last year.
Consumer Reports offered these tips to avoid giving the gift of lead contamination this year:
(photo: Chiaki Kawajiri/Baltimore Sun)