tagged w/ Lead
"Walmart is currently selling holiday gifts for children that have dangerous levels of lead, chlorine arsenic, cadmium and bromine-all toxic substances.
As the world's largest retailer, Walmart has tremendous influence over manufacturers and could be a powerful force in making sure our children's toys meet strict safety standards.
But Walmart isn't standing up for its customer's safety. Instead it's pressuring its suppliers to deliver goods as cheaply as possible - forcing them to cut corners on product safety to meet Walmart's price demands and still make a profit.
There's no price at which we should be willing to accept products that jeopardize our children's health.
Send a letter to Walmart CEO Mike Duke and ask him to pull dangerous products off Walmart shelves this holiday season and stop sacrificing safety for profits."
Go to the link, take action and please sign the petition, 1000 more signatures to go!
We can do it.
http://current.com/groups/organicgreen/"Walmart is currently selling holiday gifts for children that have dangerous... more
Stand-up comedian Chris Martin talks about Chinese stereotypes, Oprah and the Olympics, Bill Clinton and the Dolly Parton, Chris Brown, Steve Jobs, Roman Polanski, Michael Moore and Columbus Day October 4, 2009 at Europa Cafe in Richmond, VA.
Chris Martin ComedyStand-up comedian Chris Martin talks about Chinese stereotypes, Oprah and the... more
Nine companies will pay a combined total of more than $500,000 in penalties for selling toys and other children's products laced with toxic lead, settling claims by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. The products included toys, jewelry, pens, water bottles, sunglasses and Halloween and Easter items.
That's the headline, as written by the CPSC. It's true. It sounds good. But how much does that mean these companies paid per toy they made, imported, distributed or sold to parents, who unwittingly gave these toxic products to their children?
In most cases, not much. Of course, these companies would have paid to recall, replace and refund the items, leading to a business lost, presumably (though we imagine many toys sold are never returned for a refund, even after a recall is announced). Hopefully, they've learned their lesson. Maybe they've been put out of business through the process. Probably not.
**********************CONTINUES*****************Nine companies will pay a combined total of more than $500,000 in penalties for... more
If you had to guess what the biggest source of lead pollution in the US was, wheel weights probably wouldn't have been first off the cuff (unless you're a mechanic or a lead technician). But it's true: every year, 3.5 million pounds of lead fall from cars' wheel weights, putting children who play outdoors at risk of lead poisoning. Now, the nation's top environmental groups are banding together to petition the EPA to ban the lead wheel weights once and for all.
According to Lead Free Wheels, a coalition of enviro groups that includes the Sierra Club, the Ecology Center, Environmental Health Watch and others,
"Over 3.5 million pounds of lead from wheel weights fall off cars each year on to the streets where our children play, especially in summer months" said Jeff Gearhart, Research Director for the Ecology Center. "Banning lead wheel weights will greatly protect kids from lead poisoning."
Which sounds like a fine idea. But what are we dealing with?
Lead wheel weights are finger-sized pieces of pure lead attached to vehicle tire rims to help balance wheels and ensure a smooth ride. A typical vehicle will have up to a half pound of lead attached to its tire rims. Lead weights falling off these tire rims are one of the largest ongoing releases of lead into the environment.
And most of that lead falls off in more densely populated areas:
"Cars and trucks grind the wheel weights into a powder that spreads into the neighborhoods along our busy streets, especially the city streets where traffic is heaviest and the stops, starts, and bumps are more common," said Tom Neltner, Co-Chair of the National Toxic Team for the Sierra Club.
Some states already have bans on using lead wheel waits (Washington, Vermont and Maine) and others are currently considering them (California and Iowa). But the Lead-Free Wheels group is going directly to the EPA to try to get them to issue a ban on a federal level--and to stop the greatest source of lead pollution in the US.If you had to guess what the biggest source of lead pollution in the US was, wheel... more
The new law that has enabled CPSC to put many small business into bankruptcy and has the term "National Bankruptcy Day" tied to it, has told the ALA to have an age limit of 12 or remove their books, and has told schools the exact same thing.
The first thing to note is that we're not just talking about toys here. With few exceptions, the law covers all products intended primarily for children under 12. That includes clothing, fabric and textile goods of all kinds: hats, shoes, diapers, hair bands, sports pennants, Scouting patches, local school-logo gear and so on.
And paper goods: books, flash cards, board games, baseball cards, kits for home schoolers, party supplies and the like. And sporting equipment, outdoor gear, bikes, backpacks and telescopes. And furnishings for kids' rooms.
Since the General Counsel’s opinion is retroactive, all books currently on library or store shelves must be removed for testing, including textbooks and children’s literature books in academic library research collections
how will your book store afford this?The new law that has enabled CPSC to put many small business into bankruptcy and has... more
Looming federal regulations that could force used-item retailers and thrift stores to trash many children's toys and clothing are getting a second look from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The regulations, passed under the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in August and set to go into effect Feb. 10, are aimed at eliminating lead-tainted products designed for children 12 and younger. They require all such products — clothes, toys and shoes — be tested for lead and phthalates, the chemicals used to make plastics pliable.
The main issue for retailers is the costly testing, which can run from about $400 for a small item to thousands of dollars for larger toys with multiple pieces, according to Kathleen McHugh, president of the American Specialty Toy Retailing Association.
Products not tested would be deemed hazardous whether they contain lead or not, under the wording of the law.
Abby Whetstone, owner of Twice as Nice Kids in Denver, said consignment stores such as hers would not be able to afford expensive lead tests.Looming federal regulations that could force used-item retailers and thrift stores to... more
Last summer, Congress passed a dramatic bit of legislation that will, among other things, more tightly restrict the amount of lead allowed in children's toys.
But the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act doesn't go into effect until Feb. 10, 2009. After large recalls of lead-tainted toys in 2007, should parents still be worried about the toys their kids are unwrapping this Christmas?Last summer, Congress passed a dramatic bit of legislation that will, among other... more
In the Wall Street Journal, Rick Woldenberg was quoted as describing February 10, 2009 as National Bankruptcy Day because that’s the day when many small american manufacturers will go out of business due to the implementation of the CPSIA Regulations. I’m dismayed at how little it’s been discussed online and in the news. I’m shocked that so few manufacturers know about it. Of the ones that do know, most think it either doesn’t apply to them or it will magically disappear or it won’t be enforced so they can ignore it. Come February 10th, a lot of people will be hit hard by reality when their products are returned or their financing is declined.
To recap, this law was passed (424 votes to 1) to protect children from unsafe toys after last year’s widely publicized recalls (by the way, recalls have actually decreased by 46%). What few consumers realize is this legislation affects more than toys. What few clothing manufacturers realize is this also affects them. Of the ones who do know, most of them think it only applies to children’s clothes. Other than apparel the law includes diapers, blankets (housewares), books, videos, computer and electronic products, strollers, cribs, car seats, and anything humans come in contact with in their environment. The objections are not higher standards for product safety or even the costs involved. The problem is Congress wrote the law and forced the CPSC to implement it before the regulations were written. These regulations are not written by people who are familiar with manufacturing and thus, impose unnecessary burdens.
The BIG problem is that this is a very popular law with consumers and legislators. Because it is so complex, they don’t know what it really means or what its effects will be. In the upper echelons, most of the high level organizations like the AAFA, The Toy Association and the electronics industry are lobbying against it. Their problem is that they are not small companies. The vast majority of Americans think this is a Great Law, striking back at unethically made low cost imports and thus, legislators are leery of what high level representatives say. Consumers should know that this law will put thousands of small manufacturers rather than importers out of business at a time when the economy can least absorb it. Consumers need to know that come February, many of the products they expect to find in stores won’t be there. I think consumers will start to get the hint once they start getting tickets for transporting their infants without car seats because they can’t buy them in stores. Considering the consequences, there is little doubt the rules and regulations such as they are, will be rescinded. The only issue is, will they be rescinded before they bury too many of small american companies.? This law represents the last nail in the coffin of U.S. manufacturers.In the Wall Street Journal, Rick Woldenberg was quoted as describing February 10, 2009... more
Looking to bolster the fight against childhood lead poisoning, the Environmental Protection Agency last month approved a tough new rule aimed at clearing the nation's air of the toxic metal.
But at the last minute, federal documents show, the Bush administration quietly weakened a key provision, exempting dozens of polluters from scrutiny. A new network of monitors that is to track lead emissions from factories has been scaled back.
The federal rule was prompted by compelling research showing lead is more dangerous than had been thought. Even low levels of the toxic metal in young children have been linked to learning disabilities, aggression and criminal behavior later in life. Many scientists say there is no safe level of exposure.
Faced with a court order to act more aggressively, the EPA last month lowered the maximum amount of lead allowed in the air. The new standard, 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter, is 10 times more stringent than the standard set in 1978.
To help meet the new limit, the EPA had planned to require lead monitors next to any factory emitting at least half a ton of lead a year. But after the White House intervened, the agency raised the threshold to a ton of lead or more, according to e-mails and other documents exchanged between the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget.
As a result, dozens of factories won't be checked regularly. Federal and state officials debate the exact number, but a review of EPA records found the number of U.S. plants monitored could drop by nearly 60%, from 203 to 87.
The Obama administration could try to amend the lead rule, but that process would take months.
National lead emissions have dropped 97% under the old standard, largely because lead was removed from gasoline. But cement plants, smelters, steel mills and other factories still emit about 1,300 tons of lead into the air each year, the EPA said.
After tiny lead particles settle to the ground, they can stay there for years. Exposure can occur when people, especially children, handle or play with contaminated soil and then put dirty hands into their mouths.
In written comments filed with the EPA and the Office of Management and Budget, lead battery manufacturers and recyclers said many of their facilities would fail to comply with the tougher standard. If factories had to reduce lead emissions, they said, companies would be forced to move operations to countries with lax environmental policies.
Last month, two weeks after lobbyists from the industry met with Bush administration officials, the White House ordered the EPA to raise the monitoring threshold to a ton or more, federal records show.
EPA officials said states could add lead monitors if they thought it was necessary.Looking to bolster the fight against childhood lead poisoning, the Environmental... more
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican rival John McCain has grown to 12 points in the U.S. presidential race, with crucial independent and women voters increasingly moving to his side, according to a Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby poll released on Thursday.
With less than two weeks before the November 4 election, Obama leads McCain 52 percent to 40 percent among likely voters in the latest three-day tracking poll, which had a margin of error of 2.9 points.
Obama has made steady gains over the last four days and has tripled his lead on McCain in the past week of polling.
"Obama's expansion is really across the board," pollster John Zogby said. "It seems to be among almost every demographic group."
The Illinois senator saw his lead among women -- who are expected to play a decisive role in this election -- increase to 18 points from 16 points on Wednesday.
And independent voters, who have been the target of intense campaign efforts by both sides, have now swung behind Obama by a 30-point margin, 59 percent to 29 percent.
Zogby said McCain, 72, appeared to have lost the traction he won after the third and final presidential debate last week
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democrat Barack Obama's lead over Republican rival... more
The amount of lead that can be emitted into the air in the U.S. will be dramatically reduced under a new rule the Environmental Protection Agency announced on Thursday to protect the health of millions of Americans — especially children.
It was the first new rule on airborne lead in 30 years, and came in response to more than 6,000 scientific studies since 1990 that show that lead is dangerous to the human body at much lower levels than previously known.
The EPA was under a court order to complete its review for a new lead standard.
The studies have linked low levels of lead to damage to children's nervous systems that can lead to IQ loss, poor academic achievement and permanent learning disabilities, EPA administrator Stephen Johnson said in announcing the new standard. In adults, it can cause increased blood pressure and decreased kidney function.
Children are especially vulnerable. Airborne lead can be inhaled, but also contaminates soil. The main way humans are exposed, however, is from ingesting tainted dirt or dust, as when children play in a polluted area and put their hands in their mouths.
The EPA last set a standard for lead at 1.5 micrograms per cubic meter of air in 1978. The new standard is 0.15 micrograms per cubic meter.
The new standard was in line with what EPA staff scientists and an independent body of science advisers said was necessary.
"Despite the dramatic decrease in environmental lead exposure, lead toxicity remains a major public health problem," the science advisory panel reported.
Emissions of lead into the air dropped by 97 percent since 1978, mainly because the government banned it in gasoline, Johnson said. But today more than 16,000 facilities such as smelters, cement factories and steel plants emit an estimated 1,300 tons of lead into the air annually.
"The new stronger standards address these remaining emissions and offer a shield to protect the health of our nation's children," Johnson said.
The scientists advising EPA listed more of the health costs of low-level exposure to lead in children, including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, delinquency and criminal behavior. In adults, it's a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and kidney disease, and there's "compelling evidence" that it could increase the risk of death from stroke and heart attacks, it added.
About 310,000 children ages 1 to 5 in America have lead levels that require medical attention, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Lead poisoning can harm nearly every system in the body, but it often goes unrecognized because it can occur with no symptoms.The amount of lead that can be emitted into the air in the U.S. will be dramatically... more
See Which Vitamins for Women and Children Have the Most and Least Lead:
The Food and Drug Administration has wrapped up testing of vitamins for women and babies, and found that almost all contain trace amounts of lead.
Lead is of particular concern to pregnant women, fetuses and young children — particularly those under the age of six. Lead, a naturally occurring metal, is know to cause permanent brain damage, limiting IQ, causing behavioral and learning problems and affecting other aspects of development. Some studies have linked exposure to violent spates across the country, and the government has worked to limit exposure by banning or limiting the lead content in paints, gasoline and, most recently, lead in many toys and children's products.
The FDA vitamin research covered 324 multivitamin-mineral products available over the Internet. The FDA failed to detect lead in only four.
However, the FDA does not consider any of these vitamins unsafe, based on lead content.
Remembering that the FDA has not labeled any of these products as unsafe, here is a summary of the 10 vitamins tested by the FDA that would result in the greatest and least exposure to lead, by age group. (complete list.)
Greatest Exposure, Ages 0-6
1. Nature's Plus Animal Parade Shake (Powder)
2. Superior Multi Age (Powder)
3. Nutraceutical Pedia Power (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Physio Kids Multilogics Chewable (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Ola Loa Kids (Powder)
6. Nature's Plus Animal Parade (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Vita-Big-Kids (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Wonder Laboratories Formula Nineteen (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Clinicians Choice Chewable Daily Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Dynamic Health Multi for Children (Liquid)
Least Exposure, Ages 0-6
1. Twinlab Infant Care (Liquid) *
2. Natrol Liquid Kids Companion (Liquid)*
3. NF Formulas Liquid Pediatric (Liquid)*
4. Windmill Bite-A-Mins (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Kids Liquid Dolphin Pals (Liquid)
6. My First Flintstones (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins Plus Extra C (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Uno Diario Ninos (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Flintstones Plus Immunity Support (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Natural Wealth Children's Chewable Multivitamins (Tablet/Capsule)
* denotes vitamins that contained no lead, in FDA testing.
Greatest Exposure, Ages 7+
1. Kal Enhanced Energy Teen Complete (Tablet/Capsule)
2. Clinical Nutrients for Female Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
3. Clinical Nutrients For Male Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Doctor's Choice For Male Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Maxi Teen Supreme (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Rainbow Light Active Health TEEN (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Nature's Plus Source of Life Power Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
8. FoodScience Teen's Superior (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Esteem Total Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
10. Vitanica Women's Symetry (Tablet/Capsule)
Least Exposure, Ages 7+
1. Lil Critters Drop Zone for Teens (Candy-like)
2. Nutrition Now Zow for Teens (Candy-like)
3. Michael's For Pre-Teen Boys (Tablet/Capsule)
4. Michael's For Teen Boys (Tablet/Capsule)
5. Puritan's Pride Mega Vita Min For Teens (Tablet/Capsule)
6. Michael's Pre-Teen Girls (Tablet/Capsule)
7. Michael's Teen Girls (Tablet/Capsule)
8. Good 'N Natural Ultra Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
9. Futurebiotics Derma Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
10. GNC Mega Teen (Tablet/Capsule)
(For the complete list check out the link)
See Which Vitamins for Women and Children Have the Most and Least Lead: The Food... more
A partial ban on controversial plastic-softening chemicals called phthalates has been agreed on as part of a bill to revamp consumer product safety, lawmakers involved in the negotiations said on Monday.
The legislation also would sharply cut the amount of lead allowed in toys and other products while increasing funding for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an agency much criticized after millions of toys, mostly made in China, were recalled last year.
The ban on phthalates, which some believe can cause abnormal reproductive development in children, was one of the most hotly debated items considered by members of the House and Senate who hammered out the final version of the legislation.
Three types of phthalates would be permanently banned in children’s toys and child care items, except for minute amounts, while three others would be temporarily banned pending further study.
“The compromise on phthalates is a significant victory for families, because the ban goes into effect before the research review is completed,” said Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Research Center for Women and Families, a consumer group. “Congress put children’s safety first.”
But the American Chemistry Council criticized the phthalate restrictions. “There is no scientific basis for Congress to restrict phthalates from toys and children’s products,” the industry group said.
The bill, which still needs to be voted on, also would mandate national safety standards for all-terrain vehicles, linked to hundreds of deaths each year, as well as set standards for toys.
It would authorize an increase in the CPSC’s annual budget from its current $80 million to $118 million starting in fiscal 2010 and growing to $136 million over five years.
“The Consumer Product Safety Commission has been a neglected agency for too many years, but this legislation puts an end to that neglect,” said a statement by Sen. Daniel Inouye, an Hawaii Democrat and chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.
The legislation also includes whistle-blower protections, third-party testing requirements for certain children’s products, and gives CPSC the authority to inspect manufacturers’ proprietary labs.
In addition, the bill would increase maximum criminal penalties for violations.
“This reauthorization gives the CPSC more teeth and a deeper bite, and makes it dramatically more certain that toys aren’t tested for safety by kids on the living room floor before they’re tested in a lab by experts,” said Rep. Joe Barton, a Texas Republican and ranking minority member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Senate and House members have been meeting in conference for several weeks to resolve differences between two bills that aimed to overhaul the CPSC. House members passed their legislation in December, and the Senate passed its bill in March, that included a ban on phthalates.
The conferees agreed the legislation should not preempt state regulations and requirements.
Mattel Inc (MAT.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), RC2 Corp (RCRC.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), and other companies were forced to pull millions of their toys from shelves last year, mainly due to excessive lead content in paint.
The trend continued into 2008, with total recalls up 22 percent so far this year compared to that same period in 2007, according to an analysis of CPSC data by a group of consumer advocate organizations including Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America.
“We applaud the conference committee for reconciling their differences and coming up with an extremely strong and consumer protective bill,” said Rachel Weintraub, director of product safety and senior counsel for the CFA.A partial ban on controversial plastic-softening chemicals called phthalates has been... more
"Children who are exposed to lead at a young age are more likely to be arrested later in life."
I stabbed my hand once with my pencil as a kid. The lead is still embedded in my skin.
I say this so that you all watch your backs..."Children who are exposed to lead at a young age are more likely to be arrested... more
This reminds me of a story last year about meth addicts in California's central valley stripping the copper from farm irrigation systems.
When commodity prices rise so high, you get some weird crime, that's for sure...,This reminds me of a story last year about meth addicts in California's central... more
You pay to get leads - that's how it works. However, most of them are junk, right? Here's how to make the most out of your leads (even the junk ones) and maximize your business. I used to be a Realtor - check it out.You pay to get leads - that's how it works. However, most of them are junk,... more
China is the world's largest producer and exporter of seafood and its shipments to the United States have grown significantly over the last decade. The country produced about 54 million tons of seafood this year, more than the world?s next nine largest seafood producers combined. By comparison, the United States produces about 5 million tons of seafood a year.China is the world's largest producer and exporter of seafood and its shipments... more
In the first of two reports on toy safety, NewsHour economics correspondent Paul Solman looks at how the recent controversy over lead levels in toys is affecting consumer shopping this holiday season.
(With News Hour video)
PAUL SOLMAN: Levels ranging from 7,000 to 10,000 parts per million, as much as 1 percent lead, more than 15 times the paint standard. But according to Nord's agency -- the one mandated to protect us -- it's perfectly permissible.
DON MAYS: It's not considered paint, so the regulations actually don't cover it.
NANCY NORD, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission: We have on the books a ban on lead paint. Anything above 600 parts per million is in violation of our standard, and we will recall it.
PAUL SOLMAN: But the American Academy of Pediatrics is now urging Congress to lower the standard from 600 parts per million to 40. Why? Well, new research shows that even very low levels of lead are more dangerous than we ever thought, levels that show up in the blood and stay in the system for decades.
"....Even with the recall, surveys show that fewer than 5 percent of consumers turn in the offending product."In the first of two reports on toy safety, NewsHour economics correspondent Paul... more