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Lead in toys poses a danger to Pennsylvania children

Pennsylvania parents will go to great lengths to keep their children safe. For example, parents may have their child use an age-appropriate child safety seat while in a motor vehicle, they may make a point to provide their child with healthy food to eat and they may utilize child-safety locks on cupboards if necessary. However, one sometimes overlooked -- but very important -- issue parents need to be cognizant of is the possible presence of lead in children's toys.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention what makes lead especially hard to detect is the fact that it is virtually odorless and practically invisible to the naked eye. Children are especially susceptible to lead's harmful effects when handling consumer products like toys and jewelry that contain it because they tend to put objects in their mouth.

Toys and children's products that have the highest chance of containing lead tend to be the ones that are manufactured overseas and then imported into the country. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission regularly monitors and issues recalls of such unsafe toys and products that may contain unsafe levels of lead.

Additionally, though the use of lead in paints was officially banned in the U.S. in 1978, it was not banned in other countries. Thus, it is possible for toys and children's jewelry to be dyed with lead infused paint when they are manufactured in countries outside the U.S. Lead is often added to plastic to stabilize it and soften its constituency and thus can be found in children's plastic toys. When the plastic is exposed to air and sunlight it can breakdown creating a film of lead dust in the process.

If a child is suspected of being exposed to toys or jewelry that may contain lead, a health care provider can administer a test that can reliably reveal if the child has been exposed to lead and whether or not they have an elevated blood lead level. Elevated blood lead level can result in health effects such decreased IQ and delayed development in children. It may be helpful to talk with a product liability law firm to determine it lawsuit is appropriate to file against a toy manufacturer.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Lead Hazards in Some Holiday Toys," Accessed Sept. 14, 2015

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