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September 29th, 2007
Should Lead Be in Children’s Toys?
by John Andrews, MCHC
Lead is a neurological toxin that can inflict permanent neurological damage to children. Over the past two decades, a series of regulations have managed to reduce the instances of children being poisoned by lead paint. But lead continues to be used in many products made for children and even infants. Lead has been added to vinyl baby bibs, “rubber” ducks, bath books, car seats, lunch bags, and more. This is a concern because very low levels of lead can damage the developing brains of young children. Lead that is ingested stays in a child’s body and builds up, so several small exposures can be as injurious as one major one.

Federal regulations, and recent national toy recalls only cover lead in paint. According to the Alliance for a Healthy Tomorrow http://www.healthytomorrow.org , this is not enough. They believe that no children’s product or toy should contain added lead. They have initiated a petition to tell the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to step in and ban the sale of any lead-containing product intended to be used by children under 12 years of age.

The AHT petition is short and to the point:

“We the undersigned call upon the Department of Public Health to ban the sale of all products intended for use by children under 12 which contain more than trace amounts of lead.”

You can sign the petition online at http://www.healthytomorrow.org/gettheleadout.html .


The DPH is holding two hearings on their proposed regulation. Come and make your voice heard:

* Thursday, November, 15, 6-8 PM
Framingham State College, 100 State St, College Center, Rm 309

* Friday, November 16, 9-11 AM
DPH Public Health Council Room, 2nd floor, Washington St, Boston

If you can come, please contact [email protected]

You can also write a letter of testimony to the DPH. You can submit written electronically, or bring it to one of the hearings. Testimony is due by 5:00 PM November 23rd.

Submit testimony by email to [email protected] You should submit electronic testimony as an attached Word document or as text within the body of an email. All submissions must include the sender’s full name and address. The Department will post all electronic testimony that complies with these instructions on its website.

AHT has requested that you email a copy of your testimony to [email protected].

For more information, including talking points, see the AHT website http://www.healthytomorrow.org/gettheleadout.html.


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