Consumer Group Finds Lead In More Children's Toys.
Extremely high levels of lead were found in a Go Diego Go backpack, a Superfly monkey and a pair of Circo Lulu boots, the Center for Health, Environment and Justice (a group dedicated to ridding the world of PVC) reported in a new study released yesterday. In all, 11 items they tested contained lead levels and/or heavy metals well over the safety standard.
Today, the United Steelworkers (USW) launched a major campaign to "Protect Our Kids--Stop Toxic Imports." Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference today, USW President Leo W. Gerard said:
Toxic toys. Lead-laced baby bibs. Poisoned pet food. Red lead in Chinese-made steel. ... It's time for this to stop.
WASHINGTON - China-made kid's jewelry, toys recalled
By CHRISTINE SIMMONS, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 27, 6:57 AM ET
Toys and children's necklaces made in China were recalled Wednesday, including five more items from the popular Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway product line, because they contain dangerous levels of lead.
RC2 Corp.'s "Knights of the Sword" series toys and some of its Thomas and Friends items, along with floor puppet theaters and gardening tools and chairs for children, were among the more than 601,000 toys and children's jewelry announced in the recall by the Consumer Product Safety Commission
In all, 11 items they tested contained lead levels and/or heavy metals well over the safety standard, 10 of which contained PVC, or vinyl. The backpack had levels of 4,600 parts per million. The CPSC standard is 600 parts per million
Speaking at a Capitol Hill press conference today, USW President Leo W. Gerard said:
Toxic toys. Lead-laced baby bibs. Poisoned pet food. Red lead in Chinese-made steel. Every day the list of imported products that endanger our families and workers grows. It's time for this to stop. Our political leaders must deal with the failed trade policies that are the root cause of this crisis.
The USW will distribute thousands of Get the Lead Out Screening kits and spearhead a series of "Safe Home Sessions" so families can learn more about protecting themselves and their loved ones.
You may remember that the Steelworkers created the Blue Green Alliance with the Sierra Club last year:
The United Steelworkers (USW), North America’s largest private sector manufacturing union with 850,000 members, and the Sierra Club, the nation’s largest grassroots environmental organization with 750,000 members, announced today the formation of a strategic alliance to pursue a joint public policy agenda under the banner of Good Jobs, A Clean Environment, and A Safer World.
Gerard was joined by Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), who is sponsoring legislation to safeguard consumers from unsafe food and other products and require country-of-origin labeling. Says Brown:
From food to toothpaste, toys to tires, we must do more to protect our families from contaminated and defective imports. Safeguarding consumers from unsafe products is the most basic of government functions—we must protect our families and our children.
While Chinese and other imports are the major source of concern, domestically made products must be screened more carefully, especially in light of the Bush administration’s cuts in the number of inspectors and staffers at the Food and Drug Administration and Consumer Product Safety Commission. Gerard puts it this way:
China’s attempt to export its poor standards is a serious problem, but a huge number of dangerous imports are made for North American manufacturers that choose profits over safety. Meanwhile, our government regulatory agencies are being gutted. Those facts are equally as disturbing.
In early August, John Edwards called for increased regulation of imported toys. I'm sure he will support the Steelworkers in their efforts here. Everyone should.
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Aug 3, 2007
In the wake of a flurry of safety recalls of imported toys and other goods, particularly from China, Sen. John Edwards called on leaders in Washington to take immediate steps to reduce the growing risk posed by unsafe trade and ensure the health and welfare of American consumers. This week, for example, Fisher-Price issued a recall over concerns that imported toys, mostly from China, were tainted with levels of lead far above U.S. standards - thereby posing a serious health risk to America's children.
"The recall of Fisher-Price toys highlights the need for smarter, safer trade and consumer protection policies in this country. I've talked about what we have to do to make food safer. Now with nearly 80 percent of children's toys made in China, we need to strengthen our ability to ensure the safety of products designed for our children's hands. We need tougher penalties for safety violations and we need to look at solutions like third-party testing of imported toys. At the same time we need to put the Consumer Product Safety Commission back on the side of consumers—instead of having their travel bought and paid for by the industries they are supposed to regulate."
Go to protect-our-kids (Protect-Our-Kids.org) for more information on the campaign and Safe Home Sessions, to order Get the Lead Out kits and to sign an online petition calling for stronger laws and regulations to stop toxic imports and other dangerous products.
Toxic Trade Petition
Our children should be the top priority of our government. That is why I am signing this petition imploring you to help put an end to unregulated toxic trade that is threatening our families with everything from lead-laced baby bibs and toys to toxic tooth paste. We need tougher trade laws that not only safeguard consumers but protect our jobs. We need to stop toxic imports from ending up on our store shelves and in our homes. We need a strong Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies in North America to inspect the imports flooding our countries. And we want corporations to be held accountable if they put profits over our families’ health and safety. Please take action now to protect our children and stop toxic trade!
From the CDC:
Exposure to lead should be avoided. Lead is highly toxic to humans, especially young children. It has no known physiologic value to the human body. Nearly half a million children living in the United States have blood lead levels high enough to cause irreversible damage to their health.
Please sign the Petition and support this effort. Lead causes brain damage and other organ damage in babies and small children.
Lead accumulates and can cause brain damage, learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, behavioral problems, stunted growth, impaired hearing, kidney damage and even death. It can be removed - but only if you know it is there.
Don't let them harm our kids anymore for the almight buck!