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March 5, 1992

(301) 504-7908

Release # 92-058


Grumbacher Recalls Artists' Paint Brushes

WASHINGTON, DC -- In cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), M. Grumbacher, Inc. of Cranbury, NJ is voluntarily recalling approximately 332,761 artists' paint brushes because the paint on the brushes' wooden handles contains excess lead.

The brushes were sold individually, as part of two different sets, and in a countertop assortment. The brushes were sold in art and craft supply stores, and Army, Air Force, and Navy exchanges from January 1990 to January 1992. Products are described as follows:

  • 1140C Do-It-Yourself Utility Brush set of five. Includes only the red-handled black bristle brush and the yellow- handled ox hair brush. Suggested retail price of set is $7.95.
  • 1141C Artcraft Hobby and Ceramic Brush set of three. Suggested retail price of set is $7.75.
  • 114D Hobby/Craft Brush Assortment countertop display contains 144 brushes. Includes only the No. 2 green, No. 3 blue, No. 4 yellow, and No. 5 red brushes. All are marked CAMEL HAIR KOREA. The brushes sold for $.50 to $.95 each.
  • Individually sold brushes:
    • Marked M. GRUMBACHER SABLE KOREA Sizes 0, 2, 4, 2/0, and 3/0 with a yellow handle, red sable, and a round shape.
    • Marked M. GRUMBACHER CAMEL KOREA Sizes 4, 5, and 6 with a red handle, camel hair, and a round shape.
    • Marked M. GRUMBACHER OX KOREA Sizes 3/8, 1/2, and 1/4 with a green handle, ox hair, and a flat shape

The brushes were imported from Korea and Sri Lanka. Grumbacher initiated independent laboratory tests of the brushes to verify the suppliers' claims that the brushes did not contain lead or other heavy metals. Tests revealed that the lead content of the handle coatings exceeded the allowable limit of .06 percent by weight. Neither CPSC nor Grumbacher is aware of any health problems involving the brushes, at the present time.

Consumers are urged to discontinue use of the paint brushes and return them to the retailer where purchased for a full refund of the purchase price. Consumers with questions about this recall should call Grumbacher toll free at 1-800-346-3278.

CPSC is announcing this recall as part of its mission to protect the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products. The Commission's objective is to reduce the estimated 28.5 million injuries and 21,600 deaths associated each year with the 15,000 different types of consumer products under CPSC's jurisdiction.

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