Lead Can Be Found in Some Children's Products - This Week's National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week Provides Reminder to Check Your Child's Products at Home

Wed Oct 21, 2009 5:02pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Lead Can Be Found in Some Children's Products - This Week's National Lead
Poisoning Prevention Week Provides Reminder to Check Your Child's Products at

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Recent toy recalls have
brought attention to the issue of lead in toys.  Unfortunately, significant
quantities of lead can still be found in many ordinary products that parents
buy for their children.  Lead is very harmful to children.  October 18-24,
2009 is National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week and a great time to remind
parents and caregivers to make sure that any products children use or play
with including toys, children's jewelry, cribs, lunch boxes, crayons, chalk,
and backpacks, are free of lead.

Lead is a metal used in making paint, plastic and vinyl.  It is very dangerous
to young children as small amounts of lead can build up in their blood and
cause lifelong learning, developmental and behavioral problems.

Lead poisoning, which occurs when lead builds up in the body, is the most
common environmental illness in children and is completely preventable. 
Children under six years of age are at the greatest risk of lead poisoning
because their brains and nervous systems are still forming.

To help consumers find out if products they have at home or are considering
buying might have lead, The Ecology Center, a Michigan-based non-profit, has
collected test data on nearly 5,000 products. This is the largest such
database nationally and it can be accessed in several ways:

    --  Send a text message while shopping
    --  Text the word KIDS, or NINOS for a reply in Spanish, and the name of a
        product to 30466.
    --  A return message will tell you if the product has been tested for
    --  Visit www.healthystuff.org to look up detailed information for over
        5,000 products.

    --  Call 1-800-638-2772 or visit www.cpsc.gov to learn which products have
        been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Parents or caregivers can take the following steps to protect children from

    --  Check all baby and child products at home, relative's homes, day-care,
        or at the babysitter's.
    --  Check hand-me-downs and gifts.  Products that have lead may be on
        shelves, at second-hand shops, garage sales or swap meets.
    --  Choose toys made from wood or cloth that do not have paint, varnish,
    --  Throw away toys that are damaged, have cracked or peeling paint, or
        marks through your neighborhood's hazardous waste program.
    --  Don't let young children wear jewelry.  It is dangerous if swallowed
        put into the mouth and may contain lead.
    --  Wipe toys with a damp cloth every few days to clean off dust.
    --  Wash children's hands with soap and water often and especially before
        eating and sleeping.

    --  Make sure children get tested for lead at 1 year old and again at 2
        years old.

The only way to determine if your child is suffering from lead poisoning is to
take a blood lead test.  Most children who have lead poisoning do not look or
act sick.  Symptoms, if present, may be confused with common childhood
complaints, such as stomach pains, fussiness, headaches or loss of appetite.

Funding for this project is provided by the Public Health Trust, a program of
the Public Health Institute, through settlement of a complaint brought by the
State of California.

SOURCE  Public Health Trust

Iana Simeonov, +1-415-341-5035, iana_simeonov@mac.com, or Lisa McKendall,
+1-310-641-1556, lisa@mckendall.com, both for Public Health Trust
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.