We Must Protect Our Young Children From Lead Poison!
Lead is in More Items than Just Paint Chips Located on Window Sills in Old Homes!
Shown above is a Heart-shaped charm bracelet made with lead that is the subject of a voluntary recall announced March 23, 2006 by Reebok International Ltd. and the Consumer Product Safety Division.
Nearly 300,000 young American children have blood lead levels high enough to cause irreversible damage according to the Centers for Disease Control. Every one of these cases is avoidable. While many young children have been affected by lead from paint in older homes, other children are being exposed to the toxin through toys, especially toy jewelry of which they love. These toys are identifiable and should not be purchased, played with, or even produced.
Every child is at risk for exposure to toys containing lead. Every parent needs to take important steps to keep their kids out of harm's way.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Children
- Know what stores, suppliers, and manufacturers have said no to lead. Go to the Center for Environmental Health website at www.cehca.org/jewelry.htm to get the latest list of companies that have agreed to reformulate their products.
- Avoid purchasing toys from vending machines. In 2004, 150 million pieces of children's jewelry were recalled from vending machines nationwide. To be safe, parents should avoid these products.
- Avoid toys that have small parts that could be swallowed, especially if the parts are metal or metallic.
- Avoid glossy, fake pearls of which may be painted with lead-paint.
- Test suspect jewelry. Lead Check Swabs are available at most local hardware stores and can be used to test for lead in products you may purchase for your child. Swabs turn pink when lead is detected. You can also order test kits online at www.leadcheck.com.
- Check your child's toys. These toys may contain lead. If they do, remove them from your child's toy box and dispose of them. For photos of a sample of products that have been tested positive for lead, go to www.cehca.org/leadpics/. For more information about disposing of lead contaminated toys, contact your local municipality.
- Get your child tested. Lead poisoning can generally not be detected any other way. Regular testing will ensure the health of your child.
- Ask retailers about their toy jewelry and ask them if they have documentation that the jewelry does not contain lead. Let them know that you are concerned if they don't have documentation.
How Does Lead Affect Young Children?
- The primary danger to young children from lead poisoning is brain damage. This can result in lower IQ levels, hyperactivity, developmental delays, and aggression.
- Lead can kill. In February 2006, a child in Minnesota died after ingesting a piece of toy jewelry.
- Lead is a soft, naturally occurring metal and can be found in contaminated soil, water, old paint, inexpensive jewelry, and other consumer products.
- There is no safe level of lead for children.
- Children are generally exposed to lead by eating dust or soil contaminated by old lead-based paint or by swallowing or mouthing contaminated objects.
- Children six and under are particularly vulnerable to lead contamination. Two-year olds tend to have the highest levels of contamination because of their instinct to put objects in their mouth.
- Wooden windowsills in old buildings that have flaking lead paint are usually situated at the height that is even with a child’s mouth. Once they chew the loose lead flakes that taste sweet to them, they continue to eat it until it makes them sick.
- Brain damage from lead cannot be reversed, but blood lead levels can be lowered to prevent further damage and early intervention can help to reduce long-term effects.
- The best treatment is to remove the source of lead from the child. Parents should discard or avoid consumer products that contain lead.
- It would behoove parents to observe their children regularly. Look for changes in their moods, their sudden or gradual lack of energy, their lack of appetite, reduced weight, tiredness, bulging eyes, protruding stomach and other symptoms, i.e., nausea, vomiting, coughing, etc.
- NOTE: After you pull-up www.cehca.org/jewelry.htm from the Yahoo or Google Web Search Indicator Bar, please click onto the title: Health and Symptoms of Lead Poisoning on the same web page in order to view a comprehensive list of additional symptoms and illnesses that can result from Lead Poisoning.
How and Where to Receive Lead Awareness Training
Professional Safety Training Services, Inc. conducts Lead Awareness Courses upon request at the Cal-Tech Learning Center, located at 102 Browning Lane – Cherry Hill, New Jersey 08003.
The Lead Awareness Course and other Safety-Related Courses are listed in the Courses section of the PSTS, Inc. web site. To register for a Course, contact us to schedule a training date and print out a PSTS Student Enrollment Form. Fill-in the applicable information, and fax the completed Form to: (856) 427-9508. PSTS, Inc. Instructors are also available to present lectures on the hazards and awareness of Asbestos, Lead, Anthrax, Global Warming and other Environmental concerns, to professional and community organizations in need of such services.