Hannah Montana-themed backpacks and other children's products have high levels of lead, according to a Center for Environmental Health study.
Disney stands behind its products' safety, but the high levels of lead are another worry for parents.
Lead can cause permanent brain damage, leading to lowered IQ and other issues. In high doses it can be fatal.
The key question is whether the lead in the vinyl backpacks and other products can be ingested. Some products contain lead that is locked up and unlikely to be ingested, but flaking or dried vinyl and paint could produce lead-laced dust that could be inhaled or ingested, and any child that chews on a toy would be face an additional risk.
"CEH is recommending that parents avoid vinyl products for children and teens," the environmental group warns. "Vinyl is a 'poison plastic' that is often made with lead, a neurotoxin that can cause learning disorders, brain and nerve damage, hearing problems, stunted growth, and digestive problems. Scientists are increasingly concerned that even small exposures to lead can cause problems in children, pre-teens, teenagers and even adults."
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