Posted by: Nick Poma | December 5, 2007

Lead Tainted Toys Still on Store Shelves

            It is being reported by MSNBC that retail outlets have not removed toys from the shelves, which are said to be tainted with lead. It has been discovered that at least twenty-three different toys are still on the shelves at various “Toys R Us” and “Babies R Us” toy stores. Some of the toys in question include some of the very popular Hannah Montana merchandise.

            Parents have become very worried over the rash of recalls by toy manufacturers of products made in China. The newest and most dangerous recall involved a product called “Aqua Dots.” These beads when placed in your mouth created a drug reaction, which is similar to the effects of the “Date rape drug” Rohypnol. The colorful beads were recalled when two toddlers swallowed the small candy like beads and slipped into comas.

            It was discovered years ago in the United States that lead causes serious neurological damage to people ingesting the heavy metal. It was the reason that the Federal government stepped in and outlawed the use of lead based paints, even in house paint. However, in China it is still commonly used in products and was not considered when manufacturers moved their operations overseas. It may also be that the manufacturers were trying to skirt U.S. laws and manufacturing standards in order to decrease cost and thereby increase profitability. Let your own cynicism be the judge of which of these two possibilities is the truth.

            While the manufacturers should be held accountable for the damage that their products do, retail outlets cannot feign ignorance as to the products on their shelves. It is even less likely that a retail outlet that specializes in the sales of toys should be unaware that the merchandise they sale is known to contain hazardous materials. This is not an instance that the contamination of these products was not known. These are toys, which were already tested and found to contain heavy traces of lead contamination.

            The retail outlets have simply chose to, or neglected to, remove these dangerous items from their shelves. It is likely that some of these toys have been purchased by consumers who trusted that dangerous toys were already removed from the shelves, and they trusted that retailers would look out for their safety. There is a time when manufacturers and retailers must be held accountable for the products they produce or sale. Sometimes it is not enough to punish them financially, but when it is a gross and flagrant disregard for public safety, then it may be time to punish some of these individuals in charge with criminal prosecutions.



News Report aired on December 5, 2007


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