• Overview: The Problem with Lead
Lead is a stunningly toxic metal. A long list of health problems are linked to lead exposure, including: lowered intelligence, behavior problems, cancer, strokes, high blood pressure, kidney problems, anemia, cavities, and delayed puberty.
It is well known that children are particularly susceptible to the effects of lead, but lead's effects on adults are also of concern. It's especially alarming that exposure to lead during pregnancy can impair the intellectual development of a woman's child.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, lead exposures are "a serious threat to children's health." The Academy reiterates what researchers and government agencies have concluded: "there is no 'safe' level of lead exposure." While exposure to lead paint in old houses remains the most significant source of children's lead exposure, about 30 percent of children with high blood lead levels are exposed to other sources of lead, including toys and other children's products. This toxic metal should be eliminated wherever possible in anything commonly used in homes and accessible to children.
For more information on health hazards from lead exposures, see:
"Lead Exposures in US Children: 2008", published study from Environmental Health Perspectives. The researchers found that " numerous studies indicate that lead exposures [in children] result from multiple sources. EBLs [elevated blood lead levels] and even deaths have been associated with inadequately controlled sources including ethnic remedies and goods, consumer products, and food-related items including ceramics."
New Worries Over Lead, Consumer Reports. A Minnesota couple were alarmed to find out that their two young children both have elevated levels of lead. Testing in their home revealed more than a dozen products made with high concentrations of lead, including toys, a vinyl diaper bag, a child's belt and others.
Nonprofit Finds Big Problem in Kids' Products, Oakland Tribune, February 3, 2008.