Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Toys & Toxins: New Resource

Toys have many parents worried.. and for good reason. Some companies are arguing that it's okay for their toys to contain illegal levels of lead (like this RED blood-pressure cuff) as long it's not on the surface of the product. Relatedly, Fisher-Price (a Mattel company) refuses to pull lead tainted toys exceeding federal standards in states other than Illinois (from Consumer Reports blog).

Well, here's a little good news. Ecology Group, a Michigan environmental group is independently testing toys for 9 toxins that can be viewed through x-ray fluorescence. They report their findings in a great database at I whiled away a couple hours cruising through this great site. You can even proposed more toys for them to test and subscribe to database updates.

I was relieved to see one of Ranger's favorite chewable baby toys get a pretty clean bill of health even though he quit chewing on it some time ago. And we crossed Wedgits off his Christmas list until they're PVC free.


megret7 said...

So the Fisher Price medical kit blood pressure cuff....I heard rumors it was being looked into as containing lead....does this mean it DOES have lead and has been recalled? Or it DOES have lead but is not being recalled? Either way, I need to kids play with this toy and I need to know whether or not to toss it! Thanks... ( meg dot wilson at gmail dot com )

adrienne said...

Hi Meg-

From what I understand, it DOES have extremely high levels of lead, but it won't be recalled outside of Illinois (where the state has higher enforcement of safety standards). Fisher Price claims that it passed their saliva test and doesn't put off high levels of lead in simulated salivating scenarios (even though it contains high levels of lead).

I'm not a professional in any of these fields, but I'd chuck anything with levels of lead that high- no matter what the manufacturer claims. Mattel has hardly been forthright about lead in their products, so I don't feel their expert opinion is unbiased.

It's your call, but if I had one, I would complain to the company about not having a voluntary withdrawal from the market and I'd throw it out.


indywriter said...

Crap. I happen to know that Santa is bringing this particular toy for Sister Goldenhair this year. I will have to look at it and make up a new cuff (once Santa drops it off, of course).

Jennette Fulda said...

Wow, I didn't know they even made toy blood pressure cuffs. I guess some parents really want their kids to be doctors, or they don't know about the free blood pressure machine at Target