August 8, 2004

Lead Toys

If you’ve got kids and if you’ve ever let them use vending machines, you may be interested to know that certain types of metal jewelry from China and India found in these machines are basically lead with a gold-colored plating over them. The lead can leech out in concentrations tens of thousands of times higher than what is allowable in paint. The CPSC recently announced a recall of many pieces of metal vending-machine jewelry.

also, see this story.

If a child sucks on the jewelry or swallows it, the consequences can be serious, said Binns, who is also an associate professor of pediatrics and preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s medical school. “Sucking on it certainly would be sufficient, or handling it and putting your hands in your mouth,” she said.

Posted by James at August 8, 2004 1:23 PM
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I had heard a story on that on NPR a couple of weeks back. I didn't give it much thought as we don't let our kids buy that crap. :) But it is good information to pass around. Glad to see you are on top of things, JP.

Posted by: briwei at August 9, 2004 1:50 PM

I'm all over it like a cheap suit! ;-)

I'd heard about it from Maggie, but the link is significant in that it contains pictures. And this stuff can get into your kids hands from ways other than you letting your kids buy it, so it makes sense to get familiar with the stuff.

We didn't have any of these specific pieces, but we did have at least one other, similar item from India. It's not worth the risk, so we are getting rid of them when we find them.

Posted by: James at August 9, 2004 2:32 PM

There was a similar recall a few years ago on charm bracelets (or some other kiddie jewelry) sold at discount stores (Kmart, etc.), so this junk isn't unique to vending machines. I don't know who is in charge of making sure kids' products are lead-free, but stuff still slips through from time to time. I believe the CPSC has to rely on others to report noncompliant items, so you can't count on them to warn you every time.

Posted by: Julie at August 9, 2004 3:42 PM

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