The head of a Chinese toy company, responsible for overseeing millions of dollars worth of lead-painted toys, hanged himself in his factory this weekend, just after the Chinese government banned exports from the company. Zhang Shuhong, who ran the Lee Der Industrial Co., Ltd., killed himself in a warehouse of the company. In China, hanging oneself is often seen as a sign of shame.
Lee Der was the factory responsible for the causing the recall of nearly a million toys by Mattel, under the Fisher-Price brand name among others.
The recalled toys were all painted with lead. Lead is a heavy metal and neurotoxin that accumulates in the brain, and is particularly dangerous to children.