There is No "Safe" Level of Lead for Children

Feature story - December 5, 2007
Greenpeace and 74 organizations are calling on Congress to eliminate lead in children's toys. There is no "safe" level of lead for children so Greenpeace and other environmental, health and consumer groups are asking Congress to ban any amount of lead in toys that is above "background" levels.

The sooner Congress eliminates lead in toys the sooner we can start eliminating the other toxins found in children's products.

Unfortunately, lead is not the only dangerous chemicals routinely found in children's products. The widespread use of vinyl or PVC plastic in toys exposes millions of children to additional toxic metals and additives such as phthalates. Vinyl is truly the poison plastic.

If Congress bans lead in toys it will represent a major step in protecting children from unnecessary lead exposures. An essential next step should be banning other toxic exposures in toys. This would include phthalates and other toxic metals such as cadmium routinely found in vinyl products. A growing number of enlightened companies such as Target have already announced plans to eliminate the use of vinyl plastics in some products. However, voluntary steps alone won't protect every child. Next Congress should formalize this trend by extending a ban on lead to all toxic chemicals used in children's products.

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