Another Holiday Season with Lead Tainted Toys
Although the federal government passed a bill that makes new testing procedures and reduces levels of toxins in toys and other products earlier this year, it will not go into effect until February 2009. As a result, consumers have been told they will need to be aware for lead tainted toys on the shelves this Christmas season. This is unfortunate given the number of toy recalls last holiday season. Critics say this is yet another season the toy industry does not have to comply with the new regulations. They also wonder if this will be another season full of recalls.
The new standards mandated by the government state that lead levels in toys cannot exceed 300 parts per million within three years. However, toys that exceed this standard are still on the shelves. A national consumer project group called HealthyToys.org conducted a test of toys last year and found that some toys have lead levels as high as 5,000 parts per million. These levels were also found in goods sold around other holidays.
As a result, consumers are warned to look for imported toys that have bright colors. There is also a lead detection kit called Lead Check that detects high levels of lead in toys, decorations, and metal jewelry.
Lead contamination has been linked to growth and developmental problems and lowered IQs in children.