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Give Your Child the Gift of Poison this X-Mas

08272horserider.jpgAs the economy continues its free-fall and we head into the holiday season, we’ve started to hear a lot about the joys and benefits of cutting back on presents this Christmas. In case you need another reason, NPR reported today on a new study of children’s toys that suggests we’re quite literally poisoning our kids. The team behind the “Healthy Toys” study tested over 1,500 toys — including books, stuffed animals, games, action figures, toy jewelry etc — and found that “one-third of the toys contained significant levels of lead, arsenic and other chemicals. The results showed no consistent correlation between the presence of toxic chemicals in toys and where they were made or how much they cost…The one exception to that rule would be cheap children’s jewelry…[which] is five times as likely to have elevated levels of lead in it than any of the other products tested.” In addition, NPR reports that “Infant books and bath toys are among other products that received poor scores.”

Perhaps most chilling for those who have assumed buying US-made toys might circumvent the problem, this study suggests that provides no protection: “21 percent of toys made in China and 16 percent made elsewhere contained high or moderate levels of lead. Of the U.S.-made toys tested, 35 percent had detectable levels of lead.”

| Comments (4)


Well, that's some seriously sloppy reporting. How many US-made toys had high or moderate levels of lead, and how many Chinese-made toys had detectable levels?

Not only that, but China probably makes WAY more toys than the US does, remember a lower percentage doesn't always equate a lower number of things.

Thats the media for you. It's not a good story unless it scares the shit out of us.

Toxins, schmoxins! A little bit is good for you. I'm pretty sure my young childhood home was full of lead paint, and I turned out just fine. Unless you consider my choice of profession to be a mental illness...

It's not usually like NPR to be sensational, but there is a huge gap between "high or moderate" and "detectable". On the one hand you have dangerous levels of lead that could cause lead poisoning, and on the other hand you have "we were able to find some traces of lead" which could mean anything.

The story clearly states that 21 percent of the toys (or slightly more than 1 in 5) from China have DANGEROUS levels of lead (as well as 16 percent of toys made "elsewhere"). It then goes on to state that 35 percent of the toys (or roughly 1 in 3) in the US have some amount of lead, but does not say whether the traces of lead are at dangerous levels.

It's unclear at best, and (perhaps deliberately) misleading at worst.