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.