Thursday, June 14, 2007

China at Fault--Lead found in Thomas Train Toys

My sister-in-law just forwarded me a link about a recall of some of the Thomas Train toys. My son, now 4 1/2, was obsessed with Thomas the Train, and we have several of the recalled toys, which have been recalled because of the presence of lead paint. My daughter, 2 1/2, at many times had some pieces in her mouth. At the back of my mind, I always wondered whether the paint was OK, and would try to stop her. (Now my son, and as a result, my daughter, are obsessed with dinosaurs, so maybe this is a good time to pack away all the Thomas toys, because who knows if the lead is really limited to these few trains.) It really is outrageous that we are importing toys from China where the standards of safety cannot be relied upon. Recently, pet food imported from China has been recalled after thousands of pets have died, and then toothpaste made in China has been recalled, oh, just because it's akin to poison if ingested. I wrote an article a few months ago for the Chicago Tribune about the questionable standards of so-called "organic" food imported from China. Let's just say that after my research, I stopped buying food that's labeled "Product of China." But right now there's no law requiring country of origin labeling on all food. I wish I could only buy toys made in the U.S. It's too bad that every darn dinosaur my kids are playing with says "Made in China" on the bottom. I'm sure there's lead in many of them--I have to be vigilant about their not putting in their mouths. But shouldn't the responsibility be on the government to not allow these imports? Or to test them? Or, is this a great opportunity for a private solution, and for a company to create toys made in the U.S., assuring us of no lead and no phthalates?

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