Monthly Round Up of Important Ideas and Standards in
Industrial Hygiene and Safety
IN THIS ISSUE: Lead in Children’s Toys
The holiday season is a time of giving, and that means children may receive toys as gifts. However, parents and gift givers should be aware of the potential lead hazards associated with some toys, including toy jewelry. Some items made in other countries or antique toys contain lead. Children may be exposed by simply handling the product normally. Since small children often put toys, objects, and their fingers in their mouths, they can also be exposed in this manner.
Lead is a poison, and cumulative exposure to this toxic metal can affect every system in the body. It is particularly harmful to the developing brain and nervous system of young children. Even at low levels, lead exposure is associated with lower IQ. Although the United States banned the use of lead in house paint, children’s products, dishes, and cookware in 1978, other countries do not have these restrictions. Also, the use of lead in plastics as a softener and stabilizer is still allowed. When exposed to sunlight, air, and detergents, the plastic breaks down and may form a lead dust.
Take Action to Protect Your Child
- If you suspect your child has put a toy containing lead into his or her mouth, remove the toy and see your healthcare provider.
- Check the Consumer Products Safety Commission for a list of recalled toys: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/Recalls-by-Product/
Only a certified laboratory can accurately test a toy for lead. Although do-it-yourself kits are available, they do not indicate how much lead is present, and their reliability at detecting low levels of lead has not been determined.
The only way to tell if your child has been exposed to lead is to have the child’s blood tested. Your health care provider can advise whether such a test is needed and can recommend treatment if your child has been exposed to lead. There is no safe level of lead in blood, and most children with elevated blood lead levels do not have any symptoms.
Make sure the toys you give your children are lead-free. Be especially concerned about antique toys and toys manufactured outside the United States. If there is any doubt, get a different toy.
For more information on this topic and to discuss your company’s safety and industrial hygiene needs call OccuSafe at (214) 662-6005 or visit us at www.occusafeinc.com
OccuSafe Industrial Hygiene & Safety, Inc. provides skills and expertise to recognize, evaluate and control hazards and injuries in the areas of industrial hygiene, occupational safety and health. OccuSafe services companies of all sizes in a range of industries.
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