Thursday, August 16, 2007

Detox Your Toy Box

The ongoing Mattel toy recall is a huge concern for parents. Here are the resources I have found to be most useful:

CNN has a helpful illustrated list of recalled toys. has written an article about "Taking Recalled Toys Away" that can help you remove recalled toys with the least possible anxiety.

American Academy of Pediatrics has many resources on toy safety and lead poisoning posted in response to the Mattel recall.

Magnets are very dangerous if kids ingest them. This is a risk I had not thought of but it makes sense that magnets in an acidic environment could be very corrosive. And if the magnets stick to each other, they won't pass through the digestive tract easily.

I also wrote about the lead issue on the blog. MomsRising has been op top of this issue since the story first broke. They have created a petition to the CSPC, Consumer Product Safety Commission, to require more extensive testing for banned toxins in toys, and to ban more toxic ingredients. How crazy is it that toys can't be coated in lead paint, but kids' jewelry can contain lead? Please join me in signing the petition.

Finally, I wanted to recommend an illuminating episode of The Diane Rehm Show, "Lead Poisoning and Crime" that talked about the toy recall and the larger public health hazard of lead poisoning.

Environmental lead poisoning from old lead paint, for example, is still a huge problem. This very real risk disproportionately affects poor and minority children and therefore does not get the attention and resources it deserves. It is hard to treat lead poisoning. It is far more effective to prevent it. Let's hope that this Mattel toy recall brings attention to the overall need for lead removal.

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