Last week, a report by the Michigan-based Ecology Center found more than one-third of toys tested contained toxic levels of lead, mercury, cadmium or other harmful materials.
The ecologists who want to build a toxic-toy database at HealthyToys.org, tested 1,500 bestselling toys currently on shelves across the USA and Canada.
Toxic toys tested showed levels of lead far in excess of the 600 parts-per-million laid out by the federal government: some toys contained lead as high at 50,000 ppm.
Mattel has settled a lawsuit brought by 39 states after some its toys were found to contain dangerous levels of lead.
Mattel will make the $12 million payment by January 30, 2009, and it will be divided among all U.S. states.
The settlement also requires that Mattel follow more stringent standards for the use of lead in toys beginning November 30, 2008, as well as maintaining records for four years regarding any subcontractors that manufacture parts of any of its toys.
The toy recall affected about 2 million toys between August 2 and October 25, 2007.
The toys in question carried Mattell and Fisher-Price brand names and were manufactured by contractors in China.
Earlier this year, a report surfaced showing that some deadly toys had resurfaced with new names.