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Lead Level Cover-ups at the Federal Level That Can Harm Your Children

You may recall a report I posted about employees at the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) calling for a ban on all children's jewelry that includes even an infinitesimal amount of lead. Usually where there's smoke, you'll find fire. This time, however, it's two years too late...

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, the Associated Press received documents that showed the CPSC had misled consumers about the hazardous amounts of lead contained in some vinyl lunchboxes, a problem I warned you about two years ago.

The documents describe two different sets of tests, but the CPSC reported the results of the study that let manufacturers off the hook, one that merely measured the amount of lead that rubbed off the surface of lunchboxes. The other test -- dissolving pieces of vinyl to determine how much lead lunchboxes contained -- was far more revealing and alarming.

Twenty percent of vinyl samples analyzed contained more than 600 parts per million of lead, the current safety limit for products including paints. And, one sample was measured at 16 times the federal limit (9,600 parts per million).

The only thing the CPSC did right, however, was to forward the results to the FDA that eventually warned manufacturers and consumers about the problem last summer. But a year went by before anything was eventually done about it...

Just a reminder, lead isn't the only toxin you and your children are exposed to daily, as pesticides, mold, asbestos and mercury are just as common.

Manufacturing.net February 20, 2007

CNN.com February 18, 2007