Lead in Toys – The Invisible Danger
Toys are one of the things that can make a child’s eyes light up in surprise and delight. Big or small, toys will always put a smile on their faces and a feeling of joy in the hearts of adults. But what are you giving him? A source of joy or an invisible danger?
Dangerous Effects of Lead
Lead has long been used in the production of toys. Not only is it cheap, but it is also durable as well as flexible. Lead is also bright and fast-drying, so this is why many toy manufacturers make use of lead in their paints. However, lead is very toxic even in small amounts that its use has been banned since the late 1970s.
Lead, when ingested or inhaled, causes a lot of serious side effects. Children who have been exposed to this substance suffer from loss of appetite together with abdominal pain. They may also suffer from weight loss as well as vomiting with constipation and lethargy. It is also not unusual for children suffering from lead exposure to have learning disabilities and difficulties as well as behavioral problems and irritability. If left untreated, lead exposure could cause more serious complications such as mental retardation.
Because of the dangerous effects of lead and the children’s increased risk to lead exposure from toys, the Consumer Product Safety Commission tightened its rules and regulations regarding toy production. Stricter penalties are given to companies that violated toy production safety standards. It resulted not only to product recall but sometimes even to the company closing down as well.
The legal services industry is also very watchful of these violations. If a toy company is caught violating safety standards, then you can expect personal injury lawsuits to be filed against the toy manufacturer. Not only do these lawsuits serve as a lesson to the companies and other toy manufacturers, but it also adds awareness to the detrimental effects of lead exposure from products considered to be safe.
Protecting Your Child
The use of lead in toy production has long been banned in the country, but there is still the risk that you may have unknowingly purchased a toy high in lead content. This is especially true if you’ve purchased an imported toy that came from countries still making use of lead in their toy products.
There are some steps though that you can do to avoid toys high in lead content. For one, you can purchase DIY lead detection kits. Although they cannot accurately measure the lead content in a toy, the findings can serve as a warning not to give the toy to your child. All toys that gave positive lead testing can be removed from the child’s collection and disposed of properly.
Another way that you can avoid buying toys with lead content is to check and see if the toy passed safety standards. The toy should have distinctive marks and logos that say it passed quality and safety standards. Some examples of these marks and logos are the ICQ Safe Toys mark as well as the Lion mark and the Approved Lion Mark Retailer. You also have the CE mark as well as the British Standards Kitemark.
Finally, avoid buying toys made from countries that have little to no safety standards when it comes to toy production.