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America's Real Criminal Element: Lead
New research finds lead is the hidden villain behind violent crime, lower IQ's, and even the ADHD epidemic. And fixing the problem is a lot cheaper than doing nothing.
Is Cadmium as Dangerous for Children as Lead? Signs are emerging that children are suffering from exposure to cadmium, a widespread heavy metal
Low Level Lead Exposure Harms Children: A Renewed Call for Primary Prevention
Report of the Advisory Committee on Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Draft National Toxicology Program Monograph on Health Effects Of Low-Level Lead
Conclusions: There is sufficient evidence for adverse health effects in children and adults at blood Pb levels below 10μg/dL and below 5μg/dL as well. A major strength of the evidence supporting effects of low-level Pb comes from the consistency demonstrated by adverse effects associated with blood Pb <10μg/dL across a wide range of health outcomes across major physiological systems from reproductive to renal, through multiple populations, from studies with substantial methodological heterogeneity, and for health outcomes in children and adults.
In children, there is sufficient evidence that blood Pb levels <5μg/dL are associated with increased diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), greater incidence of problem behaviors, and decreased cognitive performance as indicated by lower academic achievement and specific cognitive measures. There is also limited evidence that blood Pb <5μg/dL is associated with delayed puberty, decreased IQ, and decreased kidney function in children 12 and older. There is sufficient evidence that blood Pb levels <10μg/dL in children are associated with delayed puberty, reduced postnatal growth, and decreased cognitive performance as indicated by lower IQ. Although there is sufficient evidence that blood Pb levels of 10μg/dL and below are associated with elevated serum IgE, a principle mediatory of hypersensitivity, there is only limited evidence that blood Pb levels <10μg/dL are associated with changes to IgE-related health outcomes such as allergy diagnosed by skin prick test to common allergens. There is inadequate evidence of an association between blood Pb <10μg/dL in children and other allergic diseases such as eczema or asthma. There is also inadequate evidence of an association between blood Pb <10μg/dL and cardiovascular effects in children of any age, or renal function in children under age 12.
In adults, epidemiological data provide sufficient evidence that blood Pb levels <5μg/dL are associated with decreased renal function and blood Pb levels <10μg/dL are associated with increased blood pressure, hypertension, and increased cardiovascular-related mortality. There is sufficient evidence that maternal blood Pb levels <10μg/dL are associated with reduced fetal growth and limited evidence that they are associated with increased spontaneous abortion and preterm birth. The data also support a conclusion of limited evidence for an association between blood Pb <10μg/dL and decreased auditory function, neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and essential tremor, and decreases in specific measures of cognitive function in older adults. The NTP conclusions of an association between blood Pb levels <10μg/dL in adults and health effects cannot completely eliminate the potential contributing effects of early-life blood Pb levels.
Although the relationship between many health effects and bone Pb as an exposure metric has not been examined, the data supports the importance of cumulative Pb exposure on cardiovascular effects of Pb in adults as well as neurocognitive decline in adults because the association between bone Pb and these endpoints is stronger than for blood Pb.
US, Canada and Mexico Join Forces to Strengthen Consumer Product Safety Across North America
Today, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, and the Consumer Protection Federal Agency of the United Mexican States (Profeco) concluded a first-of-its-kind consumer product safety Summit that was aimed at strengthening the protections for children and consumers throughout North America. The three federal agencies with jurisdiction over consumer products in the United States, Canada, and Mexico issued a joint statement promoting greater cooperation and engagement in ensuring the safety of products made and sold across North America.
Here is a link to their joint statement/agreement: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11333.pdf
July 2011 - GREAT NEWS:
CPSC Announces New, Lower Limit for Lead Content in Children’s Products
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission lowered the acceptable amount of lead in children’s products (intended for children 12 and younger) from 300 parts per million (ppm) to 100 ppm effective August 14, 2011. This new total lead content limit is for manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors of children’s products.
The stay of enforcement does not apply to children’s metal jewelry, which currently must undergo independent third party testing. The new 100 ppm lead content limit does not apply to inaccessible (internal) parts of children’s products and certain component parts of children’s electronic devices, like electronic connectors and plugs, including headphone plugs.
Lead content levels for children’s products are different from the levels Congress set for lead in paint or surface coatings. The limit for lead in paint or surface coatings is .009 percent. The .009 percent level has been in place since August 14, 2009 and independent third party testing is required for all paints or surfaces coatings used on children’s products.
- The Lead in Antiques for buyers pamphlets and Lead in Antiques for dealers provide information about lead in general, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, tips for testing antiques for lead, and “red flags” for lead content. Both guides provide contacts for product testing and questions.
- Shoot for Safety is a brochure created by Healthy Homes and Lead Safety to inform professional and recreational shooters of lead-safe ways to pursue their craft. Tips to prevent lead dust from traveling into your home and your body are included.
- Over the last several years, Healthy Homes and Lead Safety has become aware that much lead-glazed traditional Mexican pottery, intended for food use, is being sold locally in stores and flea market stalls. Some carry no warning label. Some falsely state that they are "Lead-free". In collaboration with the Houston Department of Health, we submitted evidence to the federal Food and Drug Administration. They have finally acknowledged the problem and issued the following documents:
FDA's lead in pottery guidance document for industry:
Q&A on lead-glazed traditional pottery:
Information for consumers:
As of April 22, 2010, the new EPA Renovation, Repair, and Painting rule takes affect.
If you are a renovator, plumber, electrician, painter, weatherization specialist, window replacement expert, demolition expert, maintenance worker, or you do other work that disturbs paint in pre-1978-built residential dwellings or child-occupied facilities (places where children under age 6 spend significant time) for compensation, you need to work for a Certified Firm and be a Certified Renovator or receive training from a Certified Renovator.
If you are a property manager or landlord and you do maintenance on pre-1978 properties, you need to become a Certified Firm and hire at least one Certified Renovator or hire an outside company that has these designations.
If you are home owner hiring someone to work on your pre-1978 home or child-occupied facility, ask to see the company's certificate stating they are a Certified Firm. Ask who the Certified Renovator will be on the job.
To find a Certified Firm, go to: http://cfpub.epa.gov/flpp/searchrrp_firm.htm
To learn more about EPA's Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, go to:
To learn more about the North Carolina Renovation, Repair and Painting Program, go to: http://www.epi.state.nc.us/epi/lead/lhmp.html#lead_req
Healthy Homes and Lead Safety in the news!
program has been working hard to locate lead-free pottery, made in Mexico,
to replace the very common lead-glazed ceramics that are sold in
Latino-owned stores and our local flea markets. Lead-safe or food
safe means that the pottery meets FDA limits for lead but is not free
of lead. The company La Fortuna produces pottery under the name Mi Pueblo
that is labeled lead free. We hoped to promote their product but
asked for lab results to be sure we were promoting a product that was truly
safe. When the test results were not forthcoming, we took our XRF to a local
tienda and tested pottery on the shelf. All of the Mexican pottery contained
lead, even the pot from La Fortuna labeled lead free (see photos.) A
laboratory test of the lead-free pot indicated that 0.95 ppm lead was
leaching from the glaze, just below the FDA limit of 1.0 ppm. While it met
the FDA limit for serving dishes, it obviously was not free of lead.
Products sold in the US can contain lead as long as the lead does not leach
from the glaze at levels that exceed the FDA standard.
Lead can leach from glazes and enter food. Lead is a
metal not naturally found in the human body and is harmful, especially to
young children. Pregnant women pass lead to their fetus through the
We have identified several issues related to Mexican
- There is much lead-glazed pottery for sale that is
leaching lead and that has no warning label.
- Warning labels, if they exist, are mostly in
- Warnings are required to be permanent but are
often half-stamped on with ink or are imprinted but easily worn away.
- Pots labeled lead free are not truly free
of lead. This is misleading.
We are happy to report that many candies from Mexico are now considered
safe to eat!
isn’t just pottery from Mexico that contains lead glaze. This Moroccan
tagine (a covered baking dish), tested by the Department of Health in Austin
TX, contained lead.
Guide to the Consumer
Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) for Small Businesses, Resellers,
Crafters and Charities
Enacted in February 2009, the new law, the Consumer Product Safety
Improvement Act, regulates lead content of all children’s products
including toys, books, child-care articles, and clothing. Children, for the
purposes of this law, are defined as ≤12 years
old. This guide answers frequently-asked questions that small manufacturers,
shop owners, and consignment/thrift-shop owners may have.
BE A SMART CONSUMER!
of old toys sold at flea markets and yard sales. Here is an example of a
toy found recently during a home inspection. It not only has lead-based
paint, but also contains a lead weight that is accessible to young fingers
and mouths. We contacted CPSC and were told that they now consider these
“collectors items” and, therefore, don’t regulate them as children’s toys.
can contain lead. Please keep keys away from children. Some are made of
brass (gold in color) which contains lead and some may be brass but with a
silver-colored coating. Never put keys in your mouth or allow a child to do
so. Anyone handling keys should wash hands after handling, especially before
bells, candlesticks, and figurines contain lead. Keep these away from
For more information about the effects of cadmium of health, click here: http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/tf.asp?id=47&tid=15
For the most current recalls or to sign up
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- In January 2012, Super Luchamania Action Figures, made in Mexico, were recalled. The surface paints on the action figures contain excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law. The recalled Mexican wrestling Super Luchamania action figures were sold in packs of 12. The multi-colored action figures are plastic, have plastic capes and measure about four inches tall. "Super Luchamania" is printed on the action figures' packaging.They were sold at various Mexican specialty craft stores nationwide from June 2000-October 2011 for between $12 and $14 per pack. For additional information, consumers should call Lee Carter Co. collect at (415) 824-2004 anytime, or visit www.leecartercompany.com
- In January 2012, Children's Chairs and Stools, made in China were recalled. The yellow surface paint on the metal frame of the children's chairs and stools contains excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law. The children's folding chairs and the stools have yellow metal tube frames. The plastic seat, seat backs and stool have a cartoon-like scene with monkeys, teddy bears, mushrooms and heart-shaped balloons. "PENGKO" is printed on the chair's heart-shaped seatback. Item number "JCA8036" is printed on a white sticker underneath the chair's seat. Item number "JCA8037" is printed on a white sticker underneath the stool.
They were sold at 1 to Seven stores in Puerto Rico from September 2010 - June 2011 for between $5 and $6. For additional information, in Puerto Rico call 1 to Seven at (787) 290-5625 or call Elegant Gifts Mart collect at (323) 698-6805.
- In December 2011, Circo 17” Children’s Travel Cases, made in China, were recalled. The surface coating on the travel cases contain excessive levels of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard. The Circo brand label is found on the fabric handle attached to the top of the travel case. The girls’ version has a heart/butterfly/daisy pattern on either a pink or teal background with a plush butterfly attached to the zipper pull. The boys’ version has a pattern of three jet planes in red/blue/green on a red or blue airplane-patterned background with a blue plush jet plane attached to the zipper pull. Travel cases covered by this recall include:
Circo girls’ 17” travel case – pink or teal
Beginning with 01/11 thru 08/11
Circo boys’ 17” travel case – red or blue
Beginning with 01/11 thru 08/11
*Date codes can be found on either the round Circo hang tag underneath the UPC bar code or on the second white tag sewn inside the cover of the zippered main compartment of the travel case. They were sold at Target stores nationwide and Target.com from April - August 2011 for approximately $21. Contact Target at (800) 440-0680 or visit www.target.com
- In December 2011, Love.Hugs.Peace lapel pins, made in China, were recalled. Surface paints on the lapel pin contain excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law.The 1.5 inch lapel pin features graphics of a heart, bear head, and peace sign all positioned in front of a globe. The words “Love.Hugs.Peace.” appear at the bottom of the pin. They were sold by Build-A-Bear Workshop stores nationwide and online at www.buildabear.com from July 2009 - October 2010 for $3.50 in the US and $4 (CDN) in Canada. Stop using the lapel pins and return the lapel pin to any Build-A-Bear Workshop store to receive a $5 store coupon. If it is not possible to return the pin to a store, you can contact the company for alternate instructions on receiving a refund. Contact Build-A-Bear Workshop at (866) 236-5683 or www.buildabear.com
- In June 2011, Wooden animal drums, made in China, were recalled. The paint used on the drum is in excess of the maximum allowable level of 90 ppm, a violation of the federal lead paint standard. The recalled toy is a wooden hexagon drum with pictures of animals on the six sides. SKU No. 424857 is printed on a sticker on the bottom of the drum. They were sold at Cost Plus World Market stores nationwide from December 2010 - May 2011 for about $7. Contact Cost Plus at (877) 967-5362 or visit www.worldmarket.com
- In June 2011, Quick Kids Junior Tennis Racquets, made in China, were recalled. The orange grip tape on the tennis racket's handle contains high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. This recall involves Quick Kids 23-inch aluminum junior tennis racquets with orange tape on the hand grip. Recalled racquets have lot number"F:3:10:08" stamped onto the bottom of the racquet grip below the "G." They were sold online at www.gammasports.com, www.atssports.com and www.holabirdsports.com from December - March 2011 for about $15. Contact GAMMA Sports for a free replacement grip kit. Contact GAMMA Sports at (800) 333-0337 or visit www.gammasports.com
- In June 2011, American Girl Crafts™ Pearly Beads & Ribbon Bracelets kits, made in China, were recalled. The surface coating on some of the beads contains excessive levels of lead, which is prohibited under federal law.This recall involves the Pearly Beads & Ribbon Bracelets kit distributed under the American Girl Crafts name with a SKU number of 30-585331. The SKU number is located on the back of the package in the lower right corner. The kit contains 56 pieces. The beads in the jewelry kit are pink, blue, orange and white. Some pink beads have darker pink butterflies imprinted on them. The ribbons in the kit are orange, red, blue and purple. They were sold at Michaels Stores and other retailers nationwide from September 2009 - June 2011 for about $8. Contact EKSuccess Brands at (855) 535-2099 or visit www.eksuccessbrands.com
- In May 2011, Toy Story 3 Bowling Game, made in China, were recalled. The red paint used on some bowling pins has been measured to be in excess of the maximum allowable level of 90 ppm, a violation of the federal lead paint standard. This recall affects Toy Story 3 Bowling Game Rugs with a batch marking of JA 148. The recalled item contains six white plastic bowling pins with two red stripes painted on the necks, one black plastic ball, and a 68 inch x 26 inch nylon game rug with a print of the character Buzz Lightyear on the front. The batch marking JA 148 appears on the bottom front of the packaging just above the bar code, and is also located on the tag attached to the rug. They were sold at Walmart Stores in the U.S. between September 1 – 25, 2010 for about $18. Contact G.A. Gertmenian and Sons LLC at (888) 224-4181 or email Gertmenian@Gertmenian.com for instructions on receiving replacement bowling pins.
- In April 2011, Girl's Tops, made in Vietnam, were recalled. The jewelry and decorative trim attached to the girl's garments contain high levels of lead. Lead is toxic if ingested by young children and can cause adverse health effects. This recall involves girl's tops and
dresses sold in sizes small to extra large and 7 to 16. The garments were sold in various styles including: tops with beaded necklaces attached to the collar and tops with metallic beads attached to the collar. All styles of the tops and dresses have a black tag on the collar with pink print that reads "mymichelle." They were sold at Burlington Coat Factory, Dillard's, J.C. Penney, Kohl's, Army and Air Force Exchange (AAFES), K & G Fashion Superstore and other retail stores nationwide from January - March 2011 for about $38. Contact My Michelle at (800) 960-8791, visit the firm's website at www.mymichellerecall.com or email the firm at firstname.lastname@example.org
- In January 2011, Ceramic Piggy and Lion Banks, made in China, were recalled. The yellow surface paint on the banks contains excessive levels of lead which is prohibited under federal law. The recalled piggy bank is shaped like a pig and the body of the piggy bank is painted yellow with floral designs. The ceramic lion bank is shaped like a lion and is painted yellow with a brown mane. The banks measure about 4 inches in length, 2.5 inches in width, and 3.5 inches in height. Only yellow banks with black plastic stoppers in the bottoms of the banks are being recalled. Banks with white or translucent stoppers are not being recalled. They were sold online at www.orientaltrading.com and www.funexpress.com and through Oriental Trading Company and Fun Express catalogs from February 2003 - September 2010 for between about $7 and $20 a dozen. Contact Oriental Trading Company at (800) 723-6155 anytime or visit www.orientaltrading.com
- In January, 2011, Circle City Marketing and Distributing doing business as Candy Dynamics, Indianapolis, IN, issued a voluntary recall of all Toxic Waste® brand Nuclear Sludge® Chew Bars, all flavors, Net wt. 0.7 oz (20 g) package. The product is imported from Pakistan.
A recent test performed by the California Department of Public Health has indicated that a lot (#8288A) of the cherry flavor of the above-listed product contains elevated levels of lead (0.24 parts per million; the U.S. FDA tolerance is 0.1 ppm) that potentially could cause health problems, particularly for infants, small children, and pregnant women.
Out of an abundance of caution, the company has determined to recall all lots and all flavors of the product distributed from the product's inception in 2007 through January 2011.
The products are identified as: Toxic Waste® Nuclear Sludge® Cherry Chew Bar (UPC 0 89894 81430 6), Toxic Waste® Nuclear Sludge® Sour Apple Chew Bar (UPC 0 10684 81410 7), and Toxic Waste® Nuclear Sludge® Blue Raspberry Chew Bar (UPC 0 89894 81420 7). Each chew bar has a net wt. of 0.7 oz (20 g).
No other "Toxic Waste®" brand product is affected by this recall.
Anyone in possession of the recalled product should telephone the company for information on destruction of the product. Please call Eileen O’Neal at 317-228-5012 (Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm EST) for further information.
|For older recalls, visit the US Consumer Product Safety