The holiday toys were already being shipped to a store near you, when a series of lead recalls began.
Many retailers say they're testing toys every day.
Even so ...Local 12's Paula Toti says you don't have to look far to find a toy with lead.
Watch a toddler for even a few seconds ... and there's a good chance a toy will end up in their mouth. With the lead toy scare ... something so innocent .. is a reason to think twice. We tested toys at random.
I bought some new and used toys on Ebay.
"This is something you could pick up at a yard sale, who would know if they had ever been recalled."
We got toys from the family of a Local 12 staffer ... and finally some new toys from a big retailer.
"These are so cute."
I'll tell you right away ... we'll find some lead ... and some lead in toys is legal.
"Again .06 percent is the legal limit, but then once the paint has deteriorated it poses a lead hazard."
That means it's up to parents to toss toys for young children where the paint ... and even vinyl or plastic is worn.
The Cincinnati Health Department helped us test our sample toys. Risk assessor Cynthia McCarthy found aside from a recalled stroller ... the toys from our Local 12 family were mostly safe.
But a crown from the toy box had a small problem.
"It's just this tiny bit of red paint."
Red paint is often a culprit.
The toys I purchased on line ... showed positive right away.
"Beep, alright this one positive the red nose."
Many of the toys seemed questionable to our tester Cynthia McCarthy.
"Safe enough to have in your house if your kids didn't lick things .. Exactly\."
But you'd still want your children to wash their hands before eating after touching them.
The toy ducks were positive ...
"That guy is clearly positive."
And as for our Ebay jewelry ... this charm may be negative ... this one ...
"Oh .. That one is positive .. Really?"
A great example of how you can't tell by looking.
As for our new toys from the store .. the paint on some flowers, a pony ... an action figure ... even the yellow in a paint kit ... Cynthia wouldn't recommend for kids who mouth toys.
"Um now that's a little questionable .. really."
Parents should know that sometimes a thin layer of lead paint is applied on toys or lunch boxes .. and then coated.
"It's coated with a plasticizer .. And once it's worn out there's potential for exposure to lead. If you think a lunch box is old and worn, throw it out. "
"WHAT WOULD YOU DO AS A MOM? I wouldn't panic, let's say that. I would say know your child .. If a child puts a lot in his or her mouth .. Be a lot more careful."
Finally there are no standards for dog toys ... and dogs are easily poisoned by lead. This dog ball with chipping paint tested positive.
As for these daycare children we found mouthing toys ... for years this facility has ordered its toys from Sweden .. made especially for daycares. Most all the recalled toys have been made in China.
Tonight at five, Medical Reporter Liz Bonis will talk about the dangers of lead to children, and how other items in your home also pose a risk.
And local 12 is teaming up with the Cincinnati Health Department to test your children's toys for lead free of charge.
Cincinnati Health Department Lead Poisoning Prevention Program
- Toy Testing
- Wednesday, November 14,2007
- 4:00p.m. -7:00 p.m.
- Hirsh Recreation Center Gym
- 3630 Reading Road
- Cincinnati, Ohio 45229
- For additional information call 357-7420 or 751-3393