Get the Lead Out This Holiday Season

The holiday spirit is alive and well, at least in retail stores. Before the Halloween candy was off the shelves, Christmas lights were being set up in adjoining aisles. I guess holiday shopping season is open!

If you’ll recall, last year there was quite a bit of concern over toys tainted with lead. The good news is the number of toys recalled because of lead declined from a whopping 112 in 2007 to 64 in 2008. The bad news is 64 isn’t a particular comforting number; in 2005 and 2006 the number of lead-tainted toys recalled was 13 and 20, respectively. Of the 64 toys recalled this year, the majority were manufactured by small companies, and most were made overseas, primarily in China but also in Vietnam, Peru, India, Taiwan, and Korea.

Large toy makers such as Mattel and Hasbro claim they test all products for lead, and Congress passed new laws designed to keep children’s toys and products safe and free of lead. So, toy buyers should feel reassured regarding the safety of most toys. Still, it’s important to be aware of possible hazards when shopping. Nancy Cowles of Kids in Danger warns, “Progress is being made, but parents still need to be concerned about brightly painted or brightly colored plastic toys.”

For additional information, see this article.