RC2, an Illinois company, and its subsidiary Learning Curve Brands Inc., will pay a $1.25 million penalty to settle the Consumer Product Safety Commission's claim that it violated toy safety laws. In 2007, the company recalled up to 1.7 million wooden Thomas & Friends train sets because surface paints on the toys violated federal rules intended to protect children from exposure to lead.
Exposure to lead can cause permanent brain damage, or acute poisoning, if children -- particularly those age 6 and under -- are exposed. Exposure can come not only from illegal toys but old house paint, contaminated soils and certain other sources. There have been limits on lead allowed in toys since 1978 (around the time lead was banned in paint and gasoline) and those limits were recently reduced further in the wake of millions of recalls, including the Thomas train sets.
"The highly publicized recall of Thomas & Friends(tm) Wooden Railway toys was a catalyst for Congressional action aimed at strengthening CPSC and making the lead-in-paint limits under federal law even stricter," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.
Concerned about lead poisoning? The first step toward remedying a child's lead poisoning is to know if there's a problem. That means testing, and this study indicates that blood testing for lead should continue regularly at least through the age of 6.
The next most important step is to fortify your child against the effects of lead by feeding him or her a nutritious diet, rich in calcium and iron. Calcium and iron (along with vitamin C to help absorb the iron) help the body process lead without absorbing it, minimizing the risk from exposure. The Daily Green's Lead Poisoning Prevention Diet compiles those ingredients most rich in those three key nutrients, and couples each with delicious recipes.
Enter your city or zip code to get your local temperature and air quality and find local green food and recycling resources near you.