Lead was banned from being added to paint in the United States in 1978 due to its detrimental and irreversible health effects. While most people believe lead paint is no longer used, other countries have different, or no regulations on the use of lead. America is known for outsourcing when it comes to production, and with this, comes the chance of receiving products that do not meet the United State’s standards of safety. Lead paint can be used on any toy that is produced outside of the United States, and many times, it goes unnoticed.
Just recently, a shipment of toys were entering the Savannah, Georgia port from East Asia. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations inspected 1,320 “Wel-Bilt Little Diggers” toys that are often used at playgrounds, and in sandboxes. After a preliminary examination, it was discovered that all of the toys were coated excessively with lead paint. The seizing of these toys saved a countless amount of children from being exposed to lead paint. The scary truth is, however, that not all toys are thoroughly examined, and many people don’t even take into consideration the use of lead paint in different countries. These toys that were coated with layers and layers of lead paint, were produced with the knowledge that children would be the target audience. With lead being so toxic, it is the United States’ responsibility to ensure the safety of their children, and keep all hazardous toys out of reach.
Although this could have been damaging to many children if the toys had been distributed, the news stories surrounding this event are positive and helps bring awareness to families. Everyone needs to be extra cautious when purchasing an item not made in the United States, especially if their child is going to be the one at risk.