Thursday, August 6, 2009

got lead?

A few weeks ago, we took Harris for his well-child checkup at the pediatrician. Along with the typical exam, questions, and (unfortunate) vaccines, the pediatrician was doing lead level tests on every child that came through his doors in light of all the recalls that have been happening because of lead-based paint in children's toys. We are big proponents of quality wood toys with non-toxic paint and varnish. We have tried to keep nasty plastic toys out of Harris' hands from the get-go, but in this day and age, it is practically impossible to do that with everyone giving plastic toys as gifts and favors etc. I am not saying that all plastic toys are the devil, but I don't feel that any plastic is safe, especially in light of all the BPA nonsense that has been pulsing through the media. In fact, I just read a disturbing article about supposedly BPA free products being tested and found to actually contain BPA! Anyways, we were pretty confident that Harris was ok since we have tried to watch what we offer to him. Well wouldn't you know it, Harris tested higher-than-safe for lead! The Pediatrician told us that his number was not high enough to warrant a medical intervention, but he highly recommended that we evaluate our house and all of his toys in an attempt to eradicate the source of lead that he was getting.

Bewildered and surprised, we quarentined all of Harris' plastic toys, along with any wood toys that we were unsure of. Then, we went online and ordered some lead test kits in an attempt to find the culprits. A few days ago, our tests arrived, and Mindi tested the toys today. Much to our surprise, it was not the cheapo, made in China painted and chipping 99 cent dolphin squirt gun, or the dime-a-dozen chipping painted dinosaur. What tested positive was a Matchbox brand bath toy rescue boat, and a VTech telephone. I highly recommend that if you or anyone you know has either one of these toys, you GET RID OF IT. Lead paint is VERY DANGEROUS!

1. Lead is the number one environmental poison of young children in the US.
2. Exposure to dangerous levels of lead can leave a child with lifelong learning disabilities as well as behavioral problems and physical problems.
3. Usually, there are no outward symptoms when a child is poisoned.
4. The most common source of exposure to lead is through deteriorating lead-based paint and varnish in a child's own home, especially the tiny particles of dust created as the paint deteriorates.
5. For a child who has been poisoned, there is no cure for the developmental and physical problems that the poison may have caused – special education and intervention to minimize the impact of the damage is the only effective treatment.

Do you know of any toys that contain lead? Please share!


  1. I am shocked and cannot believe that...thank you for sharing this. Im ordering a kit now. Was the test something you decided to do or was it a recommended thing by your dr? Im just speechless...Do you mind if I link this article to my blog? Hugs to little Harris..Thanks again.

  2. Wow! Thanks for posting this.

  3. first - thanks so much for the congrats!
    second - OMG, that is so scary about the lead stuff. im glad you were able to catch this somewhat early, so you can take measures to keep Harris safe and sound. let us know if you hear anything else, this seems like really important knowledge for parents!

  4. D'oh! That "Becky" comment below was actually me (Carrie, from eat poop love). Didn't realize I was posting from the missus' account! :)

  5. oh my gosh! this is scary stuff.
    we will definitely order a kit.
    thank you for posting!!!!

  6. do you mind me asking what his levels were? we just got theo tested and while there in the "safe" range, I'm not sure if I'm comfortable with them. testing kit being ordered - thanks for the tips. He HAD that phone!!!!

  7. Thanks for the response. Theo was a 5. Which now concerns me - considering your response. urgh. our ped will re-test in 6 months. off to do some research.

  8. Wow... crazy!! We've never had our kids (or their toys) tested... hmmmm...

  9. WOW! Thanks so much for the warning, that's not the phone we have but very similiar. I might have to get some of those test kits...they asked us the same q's about lead at Sam's 1 yr dr. appt but then didn't test her. I'm wondering if maybe they should have. Hmmm, you've got me thinking! What a good mommy you are!

  10. Are you sure that the two toys were it? Older houses used to have lead joints in their water pipes. Our house (circa 1960) has steel pipes that are rusting -- leads to nice iron levels for the family, and several hail marys in the winter when the temps dip below freezing, but fortunately the only lead ones were the drain in our bath tub.

  11. Wow! How scary!
    Makes me want to get some lead tests!!!


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