People have become so concerned about lead in toys, as the ever-expanding recall of millions of Chinese-made toys continues, that they reversed the flow of commerce at a suburban Philadelphia mall this week: People were carting toys in so that a state-certified technician could wave a magic wand over the toys and assure parents that they were either safe for their kids, or for the trash heap.
Great for the folks who made it to the mall (though even they were restricted to two toy tests per person) -- but not so great for every other parent staring at a toy box full of suddenly suspect toys. Also not so great: the magic lead-detecting wand is a $15,000 device called a MAP-4 spectrum analyzer, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. That item is not exactly in the budget of most American families.
For the recently-recalled toys, there's the Consumer Product Safety Commission Web site, which lists recalls, includes photos and helps parents get manufacturer or retailer refunds or replacements. That should help us purchase wisely (though the list of recalled products expands by the day, suggesting that there are potentially many more toys on the shelves that have lead paint and have simply not yet been tested).
But it doesn't help us with that toy box.
So help us help you. What do we do about all these toys in the toy box? Has anyone found solutions?
For the uninitiated, this called citizen journalism via crowd sourcing -- one of those 21st century techniques made possible by the Internet. By harnessing the mass intelligence of The Daily Green audience, maybe we can find some solutions. If you have an idea, comment below.
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