Press Releases

Baby Products Found With High Levels Of Lead

Oakland, CA – Testing conducted by the Center for Environmental Health
(CEH) has found high levels of lead in vinyl coolers used for storing
bottles of breast milk and a vinyl carrying case for a baby’s pacifier.
The products were purchased in January from Target and Babies R Us
stores in the Bay Area. CEH has informed the producers of the products
and initiated legal action to alert consumers that the products violate
California’s Proposition 65 law.

“Parents would never expect that when storing breast milk for their newborn, it could be contaminated by lead,” said Michael Green, Executive Director of CEH. “There is no reason to have lead in baby products or anything used to hold breast milk for infants.”

CEH found a vinyl cooler for stored breast milk with high levels of lead from a “Pump in Style” breast pump made by Medela; also with high lead levels was a carrying case that came with a First Years “Natural Transitions” breast pump made by RC2 Brands, Inc., makers of Thomas and Friends products; a Playtex “Fridge to Go” vinyl baby bottle cooler; an NFL licensed Oakland Raiders baby bottle cooler; and a vinyl Skip Hop, Inc. “Pacifier Pocket” carrying case. The baby products tested with lead levels between two and nine times the federal legal limit for lead in paint (600 parts per million).
CEH is recommending that parents discard the vinyl coolers and vinyl cases used for storing breast milk, pacifiers, or other infant products. Vinyl is a “poison plastic” that is often made with lead, a neurotoxin that can cause learning disorders, brain and nerve damage, hearing problems, stunted growth, and digestive problems. Scientists are increasingly concerned that even small exposures to lead can cause problems, especially in young children.

In 2005, CEH brought legal challenges against the leading producers of vinyl children’s lunchboxes, for high lead levels found in their products. More than twenty producers of lunchboxes have now agreed to eliminate this lead threat to children.
In addition to vinyl lunchboxes, CEH’s legal work under Prop 65 has recently uncovered lead threats to children from toys, vinyl baby bibs, children’s jewelry and other products. CEH has a ten-year track record of protecting children from hidden health hazards in consumer products and protecting communities from health hazards related to toxic pollution. CEH also works with major industries and leaders in green business to promote healthier alternatives to toxic products and practices.