Lead Toys Get Charities Grinchy

Checking endless recall lists saps limited resources for many
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 21, 2007 2:04 PM CST
A Chinese toy vender looks after a store at a toy wholesale market in Guangzhou, southern China's Guangdong province, Tuesday, Aug. 28 2007. Recalls on China-made toys are hurting charities this holiday...   (Associated Press)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – Rampant toy recalls are putting a real cramp in the holiday spirit at many charities, MSNBC reports. Toy drives must devote so much manpower to checking donations against lists of lead-contaminated recalls that many have stopped the Santa act entirely. “You don’t know what you’re getting, you really don’t,” said one Salvation Army manager. “So we just throw them all away.”

Toys often come without their original packaging, so volunteers have to hunt around for product numbers. Contaminated toys can’t just be discarded either—lead is a hazardous material, governed by federal guidelines. But some charities are powering through. “Kids are going to want toys regardless of any lists or warnings,” said a New York Salvation Army exec.