Since lead paint was banned 30 years ago, there have never been more products -- mostly toys -- pulled off the market than there have been in October, according to a Chicago Tribune tally. In fact, there have been more recalls this month -- 25 -- than in any single year.
The latest Consumer Product Safety Commission recall, Thursday, involved six products:
Click any of the products for details about the recall.
Lead is a potent neurotoxin. It can cause death in high doses, but the main concern is much more subtle, but no less important. Children or fetuses exposed to lead at critical stages of development can suffer irreversible brain damage. The damage often won't be attributed to lead, but it will manifest itself in ways such as lowered IQ, or an increased inclination toward violent behavior.
That's what makes this milestone both sad -- and in at least one way, promising. It is another measure of how poor the oversight by the industry and government -- in both China and the U.S. -- has been. Until now, the rule seems to have been "don't test and you will not find." Now they are testing, and they are finding. The hope is that this spate of problems will increase industry and governmental oversight so that a child's natural tendency to put toys in his or her mouth won't hold them back from reaching their full potential in school, and as adults.
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