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Lead in Children’s Toys

Over the past decade, millions of pieces of children’s jewelry, toys, furniture, clothing and child-related items have been recalled by the CPSC due to hazards presented by lead content or the use of lead-based paint.

The jewelry is often described as ‘costume’ jewelry and sold in dollar and discount stores and vending machines nationwide. Recalled toys range in size and type and are sold in multiple types of stores from smaller specialty shops to large chains.

It is important to stress that lead can only pass into a child’s body through inhalation or ingestion. However, as children chew on toys and toys undergo considerable wear-and-tear, it is important to be informed about the recalls and remove tainted toys before any serious damage occurs.

What to do
  • Check your children’s toys and identify those with painted surfaces, dull metallic components, white fake pearls, jewelry with plastic cords and especially toys/trinkets with small components that may be swallowed.
  • If there are painted surfaces, check the toy for the country of origin, often located on the toy’s bottom.
  • If the toy was manufactured in China or India you may wish to use caution.
  • Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission Website to see if that particular toy has been recalled – www.cpsc.gov – or call the Coalition – 410.534.6447 and ask to be sent the full list of recalls.
  • Sign up at CPSC to receive email alerts for future recalls.
  • If you are still concerned, you may wish to use a lead testing kit like those available at home improvement stores and online. However, these tests are not 100% accurate but may be used as a guide.
  • Finally, if you believe your child played with lead-tainted toys or jewelry, call your family physician to request a blood-lead test.
When in doubt, throw it out!

Contact the Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning:
410.534.6477
1.800.370.LEAD (5323)

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