As the Congressional investigation into poisonous toys has muscled up, it's uncovered several unsettling facts.
Lead in the paint on some of the toys Mattel recalled this summer was 180 times the amount allowed by law, and Oriental Trading Co. sold jewelry that was almost 100% lead, documents released Tuesday by a congressional subcommittee show, according to USA Today.
Companies under fire for importing lead-contaminated toys revealed in letters made public Tuesday that it can take the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission a month or longer to announce the recall of a dangerous item after the agency is notified of the problem, the Chicago Tribune reported today.
Lead is a neurological poison, and in doses that are high enough and prolonged enough, it can interrupt the normal development of a child's brain and leading to diminished IQ and other permanent brain damage. That's why the use of lead paint and leaded gasoline was banned in the United States three decades ago.
If a 100% lead toy were swallowed, it could be enough lead to kill a child. A House Energy and Commerce panel will question Nancy Nord, acting chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, and Mattel CEO Robert Eckert today. Here's hoping it fulfills its watchdog function and finds a way to ensure the toys on the shelves are safe to play with.
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