“Almost lead-free”

Thought this press release from the Center for Environmental Health was interesting…You’ll see that they tested a batch of current toys for lead.  As you know we require companies to verify that they meet the end point of the federal regulations that are phasing in.   We do not test the toys independently.  What we found  from our  foray into testing for lead that the testing itself presents many murky questions.  Depending on the method of testing – the results can vary greatly.

Good and Bad News for Holiday Shoppers: Top Toys Are Safe, But Some Lead-Tainted Products Remain

Children’s products and adult jewelry found with lead

Oakland, CA-Testing by the Center for Environmental Health (CEH) has found that toys listed as among those expected to be the most popular for this year’s holiday shopping season are free from lead hazards. But the Center’s recent testing has found lead problems in several children’s products, including a Sanrio “Hello Kitty” doll dress-up set, a child’s NFL lunchbox from TJ Maxx, and a backpack from Big Lots. An adult necklace from Styles for Less that was marked “lead-free” was found with a clasp that was 25% lead, more than four times the legal limit for adult jewelry in California. Other jewelry with lead content in violation of California law was found at Bloomingdales, Nordstroms, Sears, and Walmart.

The California Attorney General’s office has notified Sanrio, Big Lots and TJ Maxx that the children’s products violate the federal Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. The Attorney General has also informed Styles for Less and the other retailers about the adult jewelry violations. Sears told the Attorney General yesterday that they have pulled the item from their stores.

Additionally, CEH tested a reusable children’s panda shopping bag purchased online from ToysRUs.com and found more than double the legal limit for lead. The item no longer appears on the company’s website.

“It’s good to see that the top selling toys are not a lead threat, but there are still a few lead problems on store shelves,” said Caroline Cox, Research Director at CEH. “Our hope is to erase all of the hidden lead hazards in stores, but for now it’s an almost lead-free holiday season.”

CEH is a member of the Get the Lead Out coalition, which last week held a toy testing event in Union Square. The nonprofit is also holding free toy testing events through Christmas in Oakland, Marin, Berkeley, and San Mateo. CEH also contributes to the www.healthystuff.org <http://www.healthystuff.org/> database, which lists the toxic hazards in thousands of toys and other products.

CEH is testing children’s products for compliance to the federal and California laws as part of a state compliance testing program, and is funded for this work by a grant from the California Attorney General that is administered by the nonprofit Public Health Trust. The nonprofit also tests jewelry for compliance with a legal agreement and with California law using a grant from the Proposition 65 Jewelry Testing Fund. The fund was established through litigation brought by the California Attorney General, CEH, and others.

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Top Toys – Found Lead-Safe in Testing by CEH

Kung Zhu Battle Arena

Zhu Zhu Pets (Bamboo)

Disney Fairies Collection

Stinky the Garbage Truck

Imaginext Bigfoot the Monster

FurReal Friends Furry Frenzies (Scoot & Scurry City)

Sing-A-Ma-Jigs (pink and purple)

Zoobles

Lalaloopsy Peanut Big Top

NERF N-Striek Stampede ECS Blaster

Loops Memory Music Game

Pillow Pet (Purple Unicorn)

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