Lead & Toys: What You Should Know

Keep your loved ones safe this holiday season! Learn more about the hidden danger of lead poisoning and how to prevent it.

With the holidays approaching, December brings a surge in sales of toys. Although this is a fun and exciting time of year, it’s important to be cautious about the products we buy, as some of them can be hazardous. Children may be easily exposed to lead through toys. Here are some helpful tips to help keep them safe:

1. Be aware that leaded paint is banned in the U.S. but still used in other countries. Toys made in foreign countries and then imported into the United States may not be adequately regulated. It is safer to purchase toys from a trusted retailer. Avoid buying toys from the dollar store or 99 cent stores.

An example of a toy that contains lead.

2. Lead-based paint was banned in 1978. Antique toys passed down generations could contain lead if they were made before 1978.

3. Plastic toys that are exposed to sunlight, air, and detergents over time can break down and form a dust that is also hazardous.

4. Since the ban on leaded paint, we have seen a decline in the number of toy recalls involving lead. However, some toys are recalled for other hazards such as choking.

5. Carefully read the recommended age requirements for the toy or product you are purchasing. Make sure they are appropriate for the child you are gifting them to.

For a list of recalls, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission: cpsc.gov.

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