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RM parents...toys, lead, etc.

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
I have been hearing and reading about freaky amounts of lead and get this, CADMIUM, in toys these days.

Basically, the CPSC, who regulates this stuff, has less than half the staff it did 20 years ago, (and is terribly mis-managed), when imports of toys made in China and elsewhere are now dominant in the market.

In all practicality, no one is watching. The only way many of these toys are found to have lead is independent testing. The CPSC can't catch them all, and there is little to no pre-testing before toys hit the shelves. Recalls are not 100% effective. Home testing is expensive and unreliable.

One independent study I heard about on the radio tested a toy charm bracelet, intended for small children.

The Federal limit on cadmium is 5 parts per billion (with a "B")

This charm tested as over 200,000 parts per billion. This is going into a baby's mouth.


What to do? What do YOU do?


We are essentially banning cheap sh1tty toys from our house when the baby comes. Minimal plastics and many home made items. (busting out the router and drill press...)



Here's an example of the lameness that's out there. Toy companies don't give a flying fvck.
http://www6.comcast.net/news/articles/national/2008/01/22/Tainted.Toys/

There are some nice alternatives out there.
http://www.giggle.com/category.aspx?cid=565
Great site, and some genuinely cool baby toys.
 

stevew

unique white person
Sep 21, 2001
31,587
2,550
It sounds like you will be busy making your own toys.

Wood blocks can't be fvcked with.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
I think you are worrying too much. There was probably no testing and plenty of lead in your and your first daughters toys.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
Like the 100 mile diet, we're buying toys that might go in junior's mouth locally. At least then, I can beat someone specific to death.
 

Red Rabbit

Picky Pooper
Jan 27, 2007
2,718
0
Colorado
My parents grew up in homes with asbestos & Lead paint. Their parents were smokers, Drove in cars without crash ratings or airbags. They are healthy.

I think people get a little to worried over small things.

Lead is bad. Caduim is bad. But the fact is, these children will survive it.

"It may cause cancer or Autism" What doesn't?
Just Stop.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
It's a whole different world when it's YOUR kid. The past is irrelevant, the future is too. You'll die for your child, so I'm just sayin', taking reasonable precautions (eg. not buying it) is not something to be criticised over.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
I'd be more worried about the actual plastic stuff is made from. Last time I walked through an aisle of toys I got nauseas from the fumes coming off all the plastic. But it wouldn't bother most people, including children.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
It's a whole different world when it's YOUR kid. The past is irrelevant, the future is too. You'll die for your child, so I'm just sayin', taking reasonable precautions (eg. not buying it) is not something to be criticised over.
Not saying he shouldn't do what he thinks is best. It just doesn't make sense to worry certain things.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
here's an idea... buy toys from neighbors with kids a few years older than yours. If a kid has a fifth limb, buy elsewhere :D
 

Red Rabbit

Picky Pooper
Jan 27, 2007
2,718
0
Colorado
It's a whole different world when it's YOUR kid. The past is irrelevant, the future is too. You'll die for your child, so I'm just sayin', taking reasonable precautions (eg. not buying it) is not something to be criticised over.
That's fine. But still...
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
I think you are worrying too much. There was probably no testing and plenty of lead in your and your first daughters toys.
No such thing as worrying too much. This is my kid. No one can tell me otherwise.


I'm sure there was plenty of lead in toys that I grew up with. My parents were ignorant of it. Doesn't make it right.

However, these days there is way more manufacturing done in places that have lax regulation or almost none.

Companies contract the manufacturing to firms that in turn farm it out to subs, and subs to yet more subs, etc. There is little to no controls over what hazardous materials can end up in the final product.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
My parents grew up in homes with asbestos & Lead paint. Their parents were smokers, Drove in cars without crash ratings or airbags. They are healthy.

I think people get a little to worried over small things.

Lead is bad. Caduim is bad. But the fact is, these children will survive it.

"It may cause cancer or Autism" What doesn't?
Just Stop.
STFU, grown ups are talking.


My mom smoked her whole life too. Now she has cancer.

Your parents are lucky.
Your argument is invalid.
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
No such thing as worrying too much. This is my kid. No one can tell me otherwise.
Yes there is, that is why our schools are so bad nowadays. Parents that worry to much and think schools should not have things like Dodgeball.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,428
2,004
Portland, OR
At first, I did the freak out parent thing and boarded up the house, removed all chemicals, put everything 8' off the ground and whatnot.

Later, I learned our daughter was very bright and required very little management. She wasn't a mouthy child, so I didn't have to worry a great deal about her sucking the paint off of things, so toys were toys. Her favorite toys to date are a box of crayons and a stack of paper.

I just bought her a "big box" of 96. How many colors does one kid need?
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
Not saying he shouldn't do what he thinks is best. It just doesn't make sense to worry certain things.
I agree. Some things you DO need to worry about though.

Cadmium is serious sh1t!!
 

Jim Mac

MAKE ENDURO GREAT AGAIN
May 21, 2004
6,364
281
the middle east of NY
Someone gave us some Baby Einstein soft blocks...they had lead! Threw the POS crap away. You do the best you can, buy non-Chinese as much as possible, hell, even get some test kits. And sometimes you have to roll the dice, unfortunately. Thus far, my kid's favorite toys are a wooden spoon and a plastic travel toothbrush holder - that's OK with me!

When we can afford it, we buy stuff from here:

http://www.communityplaythings.com

They're about 1.5 hours south of us
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
Yes there is, that is why our schools are so bad nowadays. Parents that worry to much and think schools should not have things like Dodgeball.
Gimme a fvcking break. I want my kid to play dodge ball. I don't want my kid to be poisoned.

GET IT??
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
. Thus far, my kid's favorite toys are a wooden spoon and a plastic travel toothbrush holder - that's OK with me!
:thumb:

My kid will have a Neal Peart size drum kit made of kitchen items by 2 years old.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
I just bought her a "big box" of 96. How many colors does one kid need?
Estimates of the number of colors the human eye can perceive are around 10,000,000.

Better get the really, really big box.
 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
Gimme a fvcking break. I want my kid to play dodge ball. I don't want my kid to be poisoned.

GET IT??
You said there is no such thing as worrying to much. I am just pointing out there is. Being concerned about lead is a valid concern. I will not be concerned about finding lead. It is more about how much lead or others chemicals.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
55,833
4,777
media blackout
I work for a toy company. A BIG one. Legally, I'm not allowed to say much. What I can say:

-This is much less of an issue than you think. No, I'm not a parent. But I've seen the numbers and test results. The media is making a mountain out of a mole-hill (and playing on parent's fears of safety for economic purpose - see next point). Literally. There's a video that gives a more detailed explanation of this. I'll see if I can dig it up at some point.

-The media is blowing all of this completely out of proportion because of economic issues between the US and overseas manufacturing; this among other issues with the nations in question.

-I'd love to bring production back state-side. Unfortunately, I have no say in the matter. Also unfortunately, if this was done, costs of toys would quadruple at minimum. Do you think the average American consumer is willing to pay this? (Your $10 Barbie doll all of a sudden jumps to the $40-$50 range, just because of production location changes).



The only recent recall that actually posed a problem was Aqua Dots - because those metabolize into GBH (date rape drug) when ingested.


edit: please note, the majority of the preceding paragraphs is only based on info regarding who I work for (obviously aside from the Aqua-dots issue).
 
Jun 11, 2004
463
0
At first, I did the freak out parent thing and boarded up the house, removed all chemicals, put everything 8' off the ground and whatnot.

Later, I learned our daughter was very bright and required very little management. She wasn't a mouthy child, so I didn't have to worry a great deal about her sucking the paint off of things, so toys were toys.

You pretty much just described my parenting experience with my 4 year old son.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
No such thing as worrying too much. This is my kid. No one can tell me otherwise.

My mother worried so much when I was growing up I don't know if she ever had a chance to enjoy her children. It caused a lot of friction and bitterness later in life too.
 

McGRP01

beer and bikes
Feb 6, 2003
7,797
0
Portland, OR
I've had both my kids lead tested and they've both been fine. Never made any special effort to curb what they played with or read any particular labels. Perhaps we've just been lucky, or perhaps the whole thing has been blown out of proportion lately as the number of issues and/or deaths related to lead poisoning has decreased by leaps and bounds in teh past few decades. That being said, I would NEVER presume to tell a parent what was right or wrong for THEIR child. Just as a parent I wouldn't want someone telling me what to do..

 

CRoss

Turbo Monkey
Nov 20, 2006
1,329
1
The Ranch
I work for a toy company. A BIG one. Legally, I'm not allowed to say much. What I can say:

-This is much less of an issue than you think. No, I'm not a parent. But I've seen the numbers and test results. The media is making a mountain out of a mole-hill (and playing on parent's fears of safety for economic purpose - see next point). Literally. There's a video that gives a more detailed explanation of this. I'll see if I can dig it up at some point.
My thoughts exactly. It is like looking at a mountain and finding one pebble of lead and freaking out and saying my kid can't play with this.
 

Westy

the teste
Nov 22, 2002
36,463
3,228
Sleazattle
I've had both my kids lead tested and they've both been fine. Never made any special effort to curb what they played with or read any particular labels. Perhaps we've just been lucky, or perhaps the whole thing has been blown out of proportion lately as the number of issues and/or deaths related to lead poisoning has decreased by leaps and bounds in teh past few decades. That being said, I would NEVER presume to tell a parent what was right or wrong for THEIR child. Just as a parent I wouldn't want someone telling me what to do..


Those high levels in the 70's had nothing to do with lead paint, or lead in household products but leaded gas.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
edit: please note, the majority of the preceding paragraphs is only based on info regarding who I work for
I know that some companies are all over it. They test and re-test and watch their vendors very carefully.

Not all companies do this though.

I worked for Mountain Hardwear. I handled the ordering and tracking process for all of the Asian vendors. We were VERY vigilant, but even then some vendors would do things out of our control. It happens.

What I am saying (and Jim Mac said) is to buy domestic when you can and avoid cheaply made toys produced in China and elsewhere.


I know I can't protect a child from 100% of all bad things unless I seal 'em in a bubble. It's all about minimizing risk, not eliminating it.
 

jonKranked

Press Button, Receive Stupid
Nov 10, 2005
55,833
4,777
media blackout
My thoughts exactly. It is like looking at a mountain and finding one pebble of lead and freaking out and saying my kid can't play with this.
Additionally, in regards to the lead paint issue (this is publicly available info by the way, the media just chose to ignore it). Toys "contaminated" with lead paint were NOT COMPLETELY COVERED IN LEAD PAINT. Example, for a toy car that was affected, it was only the paint on the headlights that contains excessive amounts of lead. A child would have to consume the headlight paint from several HUNDRED toy cars in order to for it to even register on a lead contamination test.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
My mother worried so much when I was growing up I don't know if she ever had a chance to enjoy her children. It caused a lot of friction and bitterness later in life too.
That's called "parenting".

She signed up for it.
 

jimmydean

The Official Meat of Ridemonkey
Sep 10, 2001
29,428
2,004
Portland, OR
Estimates of the number of colors the human eye can perceive are around 10,000,000.

Better get the really, really big box.
Yes, but they are just mixes of Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black. So technically speaking, a box of 4 crayons > the box of 96. However there are "metallics" in the box of 96, so it goes well beyond the color wheel.
 

LordOpie

MOTHER HEN
Oct 17, 2002
21,033
0
Denver
My thoughts exactly. It is like looking at a mountain and finding one pebble of lead and freaking out and saying my kid can't play with this.
Absolutely incorrect.

It's like saying, should we go play in a polluted lake to the east or a really clean one to the west?
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
Additionally, in regards to the lead paint issue (this is publicly available info by the way, the media just chose to ignore it). Toys "contaminated" with lead paint were NOT COMPLETELY COVERED IN LEAD PAINT. Example, for a toy car that was affected, it was only the paint on the headlights that contains excessive amounts of lead. A child would have to consume the headlight paint from several HUNDRED toy cars in order to for it to even register on a lead contamination test.
Lead and cadmium are cumulative. They don't leave the body. No level of lead in a toy is acceptable to me.