The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled more than 3 million toys because some of the paint used on the toys contained excessive levels of lead in the paint. Parents, child care providers, and others who want more information about these toys should go to the following web page: www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/Recalls/default.htm . The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put together this web page, which lists recalls of lead-contaminated products by categories (toys, crafts, clothing, etc.). The information for each recall includes the dates during which the specific toys were sold and a link to the CPSC web site. The information on the CPSC web site tells consumers what to do regarding each specific product. While some of the recalled products were sold as early as 2001 and 2002, most of the recalled toys and jewelry were sold in the last two to three years. No cases of lead poisoning have been directly linked to the recalled toys. Several cases of lead poisoning have been linked to the recalled jewelry, including one in which a child died after ingesting a charm from a shoe. Children are more likely to be lead-poisoned by these products if they put them in their mouths or chew on them. If the paint on the products has deteriorated, children could also be poisoned by getting the paint chips on their hands and putting their hands in their mouths. Although the presence of lead in any products intended for children is a concern, the greatest risk of lead poisoning for Iowa children continues to be lead-based paint in houses built before 1960. Parents who are concerned about lead poisoning in their children should contact the Bureau of Lead Poisoning Prevention at 800-972-2026 for additional information. Parents should also get their children tested for lead poisoning if they have not already been tested. This year, the Iowa Legislature passed a law requiring all children to show proof of a blood-lead test before entering school, so this is another reason for parents to have their children tested for lead poisoning. The Bureau of Lead Poisoning Prevention hopes that children will be tested well before the age of six years because the damage is actually done at a younger age, and the exposure tends to be higher at a younger age.
Contact Winneshiek County Public Health Nursing Service for more information.