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Toy stores across America are checking their products to make sure they don’t contain dangerous amounts of lead. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner reports on why local thrift stores may need to take a closer look at the items on their shelves.
The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act is a new federal law that prevents toy stores from selling toys that contain dangerous amounts of lead.
Now, toy stores and thrift stores are checking toys like plastic bracelets, tricycles and even books for lead content.
If the amount of lead exceeds the limit, then the toys have to be thrown away.
Senator Claire McCaskill says thrift stores have become a major concern because their donated toys may be older.“We’ve had a number of children die in our country last year because of lead on products that had been imported primarily from China. So, there was a new attempt to look at lead testing and in the process of trying to address the dangers of lead content in some products in this country, we inadvertently caught thrift store in this net," McCaskill said.One thrift store chain has been working hard to make sure the toys on their shelves are safe for kids.
Goodwill officials say they have had to remove metal jewelry, toys with lead paint and mini bicycles because they could potentially cause lead poisoning.
Jeff Cartnal is the vice president for program development for Missouri’s Goodwill thrift stores.“We’ve just had to start removing anything that seems suspicious off of our shelves and making sure that if things are donated that they don’t get into the stores,” Cartnal said.Cartnal says it would be helpful if the new law had specific guidelines concerning which toys are safe.
“We would like to have a list of products that are known to have too high a lead content, so that we can more easily remove them. That would help us sort through things,” Cartnal said.
The National Resources Defense Council says to avoid toys imported from China, cheap kids’ costume jewelry and candy made in Mexico.
For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.