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Just HOW concerned should I be about lead paint on toys from China?

(17 Posts)
KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 14:02:02

Tbh I am having a bit of a panic attack about all this recent news about the use of lead paint on toys. I am completely POSITIVE that this is only the tip of the iceberg and am bordering on hysteria that ALL Chinese manufactured toys with paint on them have lead.

The reason why I am freaking out is that ds2 LOVED Thomas the Tank engine and had at least 30+ engines. He was ALWAYS putting them in his mouth and the wooden ones (maybe 10 of them) were gnawed. Granted I was always stopping him from doing this but he would sneak them in. The engines are chipped to bits. I looked at them again last night. A lot of that would be down to him throwing them all in a basket and them (metal ones) banging against each other but I am SURE that some (and maybe a concerning amount) got into his mouth and swallowed.

Now I KNOW that only some of the Thomas engines have been recalled (and he doesn't have those) but WHO KNOWS whether the other ones are trully safe or not? He has some red engines that are metal (only wooden red ones were recalled). Are they safe? How can I possibly be sure? It seems that every day there's a new list.

He has hearing loss in one ear and I have read that that can be caused by lead poisoning.

He hasn't been playing with them for a couple of years (about).

IF, he was exposed to lead is it in his body forever? Will it pass? Is any damage that was done, done? I have been googling and only finding symptoms, etc. Is there anything I can do to help him clean anything like lead out of his body?

Thanks and please don't beat me up over this. I really am worried. I don't want to go to the doctor, YET. He's terrified of needles and getting blood drawn.

expatinscotland Tue 21-Aug-07 14:09:53

What I'm worried about is the poor people who were working around all that lead.

Any news about what has been happening to them and their children, too?

ChippyMinton Tue 21-Aug-07 14:13:16

kerry, IIRC you brought this up before when the thomas stuff was recalled, so it's been preying on your mind for a while now. Would it not be best to see the doctor, to talk it through, and hopefully put your mind at rest?

LIZS Tue 21-Aug-07 14:15:46

The risk was low anyway, especially since your ds didn't have any of the recalled ones 9they will ahve checked batches, adn the recall precautionary . Remember we grew up before the ban of lead in paint for kids toys and furntiure, and lead free petrol but have survived.

The woman from Mattel was asked about the factory workers on tv and if they had a responsibilty for their welfare and didn't really reply, just said they would ensure future paint supplies were ok

KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 14:31:12

There was a bit on CNN last night talking about the factory workers. How there is increasing pressure for China to clean up its act. BUT that banned toys are STILL being sold in China (that bit was in Sunday Times)

Have also read that the media hoopla is part of U.S. plot to undermine Chinese export machine

KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 14:32:13

Chippy - you're right, that was when the Thomas ones were recalled. Calmed down a bit after that but now in slight panic mode again. [sigh]. He really did GNAW on a few of them!

expatinscotland Tue 21-Aug-07 14:33:26

'Have also read that the media hoopla is part of U.S. plot to undermine Chinese export machine '

What a crock of shit. So no one's allowed to question the well-being of these workers and their children, and their water supply for that matter, without being accused of undermining the fat cat, robber baron bosses who are getting rich off these workers' backs?

KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 14:38:46

Ah I love the spin doctors.....

oliveoil Tue 21-Aug-07 14:43:57

great article here from The Times

Roskva Tue 21-Aug-07 14:49:01

To be perfectly honest, I think it's about time we all started questioning why we are so happy to buy goods that are produced in countries where there is no health and safety legislation, no environmental regulations, and no social protection for workers. The absence of all those means that those countries can produce goods vastly cheaper than we can in Europe, but at what ultimate cost? China is opening a new fossil fuel fired power station every week, which makes a mockery of our feeble - and pointless in the global context - unilateral attempts to reduce carbon emissions. It's not just toys from China that have been recalled recently: more worryingly, pharmaceutical and health care products have been recalled recently too, and the boss of one of the companies involved was executed on the orders of the Chinese government (that makes the suicide of the toy factory boss look less noble).

Okay, I'll get off my high horse now. Can anyone tell me where I can buy fair trade toys that are attractive to children rather than to adults, and ethically produced clothes that don't cost a bl*dy fortune?

KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 14:52:14

See the wooden Thomas trains weren't by ANY stretch of the imagination CHEAP!

That's what urks even more!

But agree. China at current industrial levels WILL destory the planet single-handedly.

LIZS Tue 21-Aug-07 14:54:54

and if it uses such dodgy materials to make the products imagine what is being discharged into the environment. Mind you the US can hardly talk about any environmental records.

expatinscotland Tue 21-Aug-07 14:55:36

Those poor workers! No unions, no benefits, no health and safety, no welfare.

KerryMumbledore Tue 21-Aug-07 15:26:15

And wonder if they ever will? There's SO MANY of them. Meaning kill off any organizers, there's a BILLION more workers to take their place.

LunarSea Tue 21-Aug-07 15:55:41

The Thomas recall only affects engines made fairly recently (I can't find the page I originally saw the dates on, but this one from nz has similar info), so if he hasn't played with them for a couple of years I guess you bought them before the start of 2005 and you should be ok.

LIZS Tue 21-Aug-07 15:59:17

Thomas recall info

Roskva Tue 21-Aug-07 16:59:11

The companies sourcing goods in China are making a massive profit. The less they pay per unit, the more money they pocket. If the toys were made in Europe, they would probably cost 3 times as much to give the distributers and big retailers the same profit levels.

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