Sunday, September 30, 2007

Screening Toys for Lead!

"Toymaker Fisher Price is to recall almost one and a half million Chinese-made toys over fears that their paint contains too much lead"

This news hit the world close to 2 months back with
Fisher Price, a subsidiary of US toy giant Mattel Inc, announcing on 2 August that it would be recalling some of Lee Der's [Mattel's sub-contractor] Chinese-made toys, affecting 83 product-types sold around the world.

Consumers all over started to worry as many of these toys were either already sold or ready to be sold in the markets. Mattel has apologized for the same and has promised to intensify their testing standards. Mattel has also answered few basic quests and given safety recall facts on its site.

While all this was in my mind for a few days now, I stumbled upon a google ad on my blog which directed me to a page on

Niton has devised a product - a
Handheld NITON x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analyzer, which provides quick and easy screening of toys and other consumer goods for lead, cadmium, mercury and other toxic metals. Niton has a distributor in India. Find the contact info here.

Lets assume that you've now tested your child's toys. I
n future whenever you buy a toy how would you identify and make sure if your child's toy contains lead? Here are some tips I found which might be useful for parents to have a check if their child is in a no-danger zone while playing with a toy.

Check out for -
  • Dull, grey-looking metal.
  • Pieces that seem heavy for their size.
  • If you rub a piece of jewelry against a sheet of paper and it leaves a grey line, it's probably made of lead.
  • Bright colors, especially orange and red.
  • Soft plastics, as lead is used as a stabilizer to help keep the plastic soft.
Find more information and tips here.

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