Don't get the kid a lead pencil/Ryn Gargulinski

Don't get the kid a lead pencil/Ryn Gargulinski

Think twice before grabbing the latest newfangled toy for your tot.

Never mind if the toy has small parts that could fall off and end up lodged in a kid’s throat, or Venetian-blind-like cords that could hang the child from the window.

You need to fret about the amount of lead the toy may contain.

In addition to not allowing your child to suck on old school pencils and lick walls covered in old paint, you should heed the new lead toy blacklist that was announced in a news release from Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard.

To give you some background, Goddard came to a settlement last year with toy giant Mattel, Inc. and its subsidiary, the fabulous Fisher-Price, Inc., that made the company promise to “implement strict new limits” on the amount of lead in children’s toys.

The company also has to alert the AGs in several states when the lead content exceeds the “strict new limits,” get heartily scolded, and then work with the AGs to “remedy any
such violations.”

That said, we were treated to a recent black list of toys and other items that exceed the “strict new limits,” although we are never told what those limits are.

As a guideline, perhaps, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has a policy with kids’ metal jewelry, where it recalls anything that contains lead in amounts of more than 600 parts per million, or ppm.

Items recently noted by the California attorney general to have high amounts of lead include:

Forget giving the kid a lead can/Ryn Gargulinski

Forget giving the kid a lead can/Ryn Gargulinski

Barbie Bike Flair accessory kit sold by Tuesday Morning, 6,196 ppm

Disney Fairies Silvermist’s Water Lily necklace sold by Walgreens, 22,000 ppm

Dora the Explorer activity tote sold by TJ Maxx, 2,348 ppm

Kids poncho sold by Walmart, 677 ppm

MSY Faded Glory Rebecca shoes sold by Walmart, 1,331 ppm

Reversible Croco belt sold by Target, 4,270 ppm

Paula fuchsia open-toed shoes sold by Sears, 3,957 ppm

Why kids would be sucking on ponchos, croco belts and Sears open-toed shoes may remain a mystery, but we guess it’s better safe than sickly.

We are not sure how much lead will make a kid drop dead, unless a lead safe falls on his head and then we know a single unit will do the trick.

We also know that kids absorb 40 to 50 percent of lead that gets into their mouth, whereas an adult absorbs about 10 percent.

That means we older folks can more safely lick old paint and suck on croco belts.

Watch those reversible croco belts/Ryn Gargulinski

Watch those reversible croco belts/Ryn Gargulinski

While there may be some merit to the lead argument, this type of information still gets classified in the “give me a break” category.

It seems parents should spend more time watching their tots to make sure the kids don’t stick things like ponchos and shoes in their mouth rather than trying to get the lead out of the world that surrounds them.

Speaking of the surrounding world, many soils generally contain lead in amounts of about 10 to 40 ppm, while contaminated soils can soar above 100,000 ppm or more.

So much for those scrumptious mud pies.

Don’t forget, too, that vegetables are grown in soil and, if lead-laden dirt is stuck in the broccoli and not rinsed off, that broccoli is no longer quite so healthy.

May be safer to have the kid chew on open-toed shoes.



Ryn Gargulinski is a poet, artist, performer and Ryngmaster who never chewed on shoes as a kid but did once eat a petunia. Her column appears every Friday on Rynski’s Blogski. Her art, writing and more is at E-mail

logoWhat do you think?

Do you check the lead content in toys for tots?

Do you check the lead content in everything dang thing you buy?

Do you suck on Sears open-toed shoes?