The dangers of lead in children's toys has now been well documented, though the Consumer Product Safety Commission is still reciting the litany of recalls as it finds more and more tainted products.
But, as the St. Petersburg Times points out, there is no Pet Product Safety Commission, and lead may well be contaminating pet toys at levels that can harm animals that have become part of the American family.
In humans, the threat of lead poisoning is most acute at very early ages, even in the womb. While the brain is still developing, lead can disrupt normal functioning and lead to life-long brain damage, diminished IQ and possibly aggressive behavior. While the IQ of your dog may not be the highest of your concerns, lead in high doses can also be fatal to adults (humans or pets), and the smaller the body, the smaller the dose needed to do damage.
The Times cites the case of a caged bird that died from nibbling at a lead-infused toy.
And dogs, particularly, may be at risk because they love to chew. If there's lead paint on that otherwise benign-seeming toy, it could do lasting damage, or even kill. The ASPCA received 30 calls last year from pet owners whose dogs had been poisoned by lead.
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