Lead poisoning (search) fears have prompted the recall of nearly 3 million metal charms sold in craft stores in recent years.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (search) and the charms’ manufacturer, Hirschberg Schutz & Co. Inc., announced the voluntary recall of 2.8 million charms sold under the name “Charming Thoughts” today.

The CSPC received a report of a 6-year-old girl who developed elevated blood lead levels thought to be related to mouthing the charms on a homemade necklace. Lead poisoning in children is linked to behavioral problems, learning disabilities, hearing problems, and growth retardation. Even low levels of lead are harmful.

Children, especially those under the age of 6, are at risk because of their rapid growth and their tendency to put their hands and objects in their mouths. If you are concerned about your child being exposed, ask your doctor to test your child for leadpoisoning.

The recalled metal charms were sold at Michaels Stores (search) from July 2002 through February 2005, at Recollections stores from October 2004 through February 2005, and at Hancock Fabrics stores from January 2004 through January 2005. All of the charms were manufactured in China.

Most of the charms are silver-colored with small silver loops. They were sold in packages of two to 12 pieces.

The metal charms are various shapes including small hearts, crowns, birds, picture frames, perfume bottles, and a cross. Some of the metal charms have small blue, pink, or yellow stones and are printed with words including “princess,” “congratulations,” “city girl,” “world traveler,” and “life’s blessings.” “Insert photo here,” “cherish,” “love,” and “honor” are printed on the picture frame charms.

The metal charms were sold as decorations for place cards, greeting cards, collages, memory boxes, gift cards, scrapbooks, invitations, and gift bags. The charms also can be attached to necklaces and bracelets.

To see a picture of the recalled charms, go to the CPSC web site.

People who purchased the charms should immediately take these metal charms away from children and contact Hirschberg Schutz & Co. at 800-873-5506 to receive a refund.

Consumers also can email the firm at charmsrecall@horizongroupusa.com for more information.

By Jennifer Warner, reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD

SOURCES: News release, CPSC. CDC.