20 Stories

Target Won't Take 'Not Safe' Fidget Spinners Off Shelves

US PIRG report says the toys have high lead levels; Target says they're not kids' products

(Newser) - A maker of one of the hottest products of the year has just found itself in a bucket of hot water. According to a consumer advocacy group, two fidget spinners supplied to Target by Iowa-based Bulls-i-Toy contain lead at up to 330 times the federal legal limit for toys. Inspired... More »

CDC Mulling Lower Threshold for Kid Lead Levels: Sources

But move is controversial, with critics saying money would be diverted from those who need it most

(Newser) - For the past four years, kids under the age of 6 who had a 5-micrograms-per-deciliter blood lead level warranted a public health response. Now a handful of sources who've received word from the CDC say the agency may lower that level another 30%—down to 3.5 micrograms per... More »

Ind. Residents: We Were Poisoned for Years

Complex soil tainted by lead, arsenic

(Newser) - Residents of the West Calumet Housing Complex in East Chicago, Ind., remember having "mud fights" as kids, per the Guardian . Today, the once-happy memory haunts them. The EPA recently revealed that the top six inches of soil surrounding the complex—built atop a former smelting operation—contains 30 times... More »

Our Favorite Chocolates Could Be Poisoning Us

Nonprofit finds illegal levels of lead, cadmium in multiple brands

(Newser) - A California nonprofit is warning consumers that the Cadbury Creme Egg in their basket this Easter may be closer to a Leadbury Creme Egg. As You Sow tested 50 types of chocolates and found illegal levels of cadmium and/or lead in 70% of them, CBS San Francisco reports. A press... More »

Lead Levels in Michigan Kids' Blood Prompts State of Emergency

Flint mayor is worried about fallout from tainted water

(Newser) - Flint, Mich., drew its water from the Flint River for about 18 months after ditching Detroit's water service—but that was enough time to cause lead levels in local kids to spike, which has now led the mayor to declare a state of emergency, Michigan Live reports. Mayor Karen... More »

Study Finds Carcinogens in Lipstick

Don't 'panic,' says study co-author, but maybe 'use it less'

(Newser) - A new study of 32 popular lipsticks and lip glosses uncovered nine metals including lead, aluminum, chromium, and cadmium, some at levels that could be toxic, researchers say. The UC Berkeley study found that, in particular, average lipstick users (who apply lipstick an average of 2.3 times a day... More »

Eco Group: Disneyland Exposes Kids to Lead

Mateel Foundation seeking an injunction against Disney

(Newser) - Beware riders of Mr Toad's Wild Ride: The Mateel Environmental Justice Foundation says it has found excessive lead in the brass door knobs at Minnie's House, stained glass windows in Cinderella's Castle, the handle of the Sword in Stone, and other items throughout Disneyland. The eco group... More »

Watchdog: Disney Bags Have Too Much Lead

Shopping bags exceed federal limit for kids, says group

(Newser) - An environmental watchdog group says two versions of plastic Disney shopping bags go way over the federal limit for lead in kids' products. The Center for Environmental Health tested the reusable Toys Story and Cars bags sold by Safeway—the chain says the bags are no longer for sale—and... More »

Alarming Levels of Lead Found in Glasses

Amount in enamel of Tin Man glass was 1,006 times federal limit

(Newser) - In lab tests commissioned by the AP , alarming levels of lead and cadmium were found on the surface of drinking glasses made in China. These glasses—bearing images of comic book icons and characters from movies like the Wizard of Oz—were made for brands like Coca-Cola, Walt Disney, Burger... More »

Reusable Bags May Hurt Planet, Too

Studies find sacks have risky levels of lead

(Newser) - Now that you’ve made the transition from plastic bags to reusable ones, it turns out they, too, may be an environmental threat, reports the New York Times . Studies show some such bags contain may contain unsafe amounts of lead, which could eventually seep into groundwater if they're disposed of.... More »

Turf-Makers Sued Over Lead

As fake grass ages, toxin levels 20 times legal limit

(Newser) - California has sued three top turf-makers, claiming they are deliberately hiding the fact that their products contain lead, the Los Angeles Times reports. State law requires labeling of products containing the metal, which gives a "natural" green color to fake grass. Lead can cause cancer, birth defects, and damage... More »

Childhood Lead Levels Linked to Adult Crime

Exposure tied to smaller brains for kids who later turn to crime

(Newser) - Childhood lead exposure has been linked to smaller brains and criminal behavior in adulthood, reports the Los Angeles Times. Researchers studying childhood blood contamination in old Cincinnati buildings with lead-based paint discovered that each 5 microgram-per-deciliter increase in blood lead levels by the age of 6 was accompanied by a... More »

EPA Plans Tough New Lead Limits

Safety standards unchanged for 30 years

(Newser) - The Environmental Protection Agency is proposing stringent new regulations on lead  levels in the air, which have remained unchanged for 30 years. Some 23 counties in the US would be out of compliance once the new standards are established. Lead has been linked to developmental and learning problems in children. More »

Lead Exposure May Speed Mental Decline

Build-up of pollutants seen contributing to memory loss in elderly

(Newser) - Mental decline is widely considered an unavoidable aspect of aging, but a slew of recent studies link reduced functioning in the elderly to past lead exposure, the AP reports. Common pollutants aren't singlehandedly responsible for memory loss or tremors. But breathing or ingesting lead, pesticides, or mercury early in life... More »

Lead Warning Issued for Lipstick

Moms' cosmetics could affect children, expert cautions

(Newser) - More than half of all lipsticks tested in a recent study contained some level of lead, a new report warns. The amounts weren't high enough to cause lead poisoning in healthy adults, but could affect small children, raising concerns for pregnant women and mothers. "There are hazardous levels of... More »

Prices in Toyland Are Going Up

Consumers will pay for testing toys

(Newser) - Toyland is about to become a more expensive place, as price hikes of 10% or more kick in to pay for heightened vigilance by toy makers following the recall of millions of lead-tainted and otherwise unsafe playthings imported from China. The added costs, which  won't kick in until after Christmas,... More »

Toymakers Play Games With Regulations

Call for more safety testing a cynical move, Slate critic contends

(Newser) - The toy industry’s new safety-testing push may succeed in rebuilding trust, but it’s likely to leave dangerous ways unchecked—and the big guys know it, argues Slate’s E. Marla Felcher. The current scandals are matters of enforcement, not of the regulations themselves, but the new call for... More »

China Agrees to End Lead Toy Imports

After third Mattel recall, Beijing seeks to end fallout

(Newser) - After three recalls by Mattel and growing nail-biting among parents, Chinese officials have signed an agreement with Washington to stop using lead paint in imported toys, CNNMoney reports. Although the US outlawed sales of lead-painted toys in 1978, Chinese-made products containing the hazardous metal continue to seep into the market.... More »

SpongeBob? Not You, Too!

Another recall of 300,000 Chinese toys hits America

(Newser) - Some 300,000 more toys and other children's items made in China have been recalled due to safety concerns about lead. That includes 250,000 SpongeBob journals and address books with lead paint on the metal bindings. The journals, imported by privately held Martin Designs Inc., were sold in US... More »

China-Made Baby Bibs Contain Lead

Tests of Toys 'R' Us aprons finds possible hazard; company claims compliance

(Newser) - Tests by a non-profit agency and the NY Times found made-in-China baby bibs sold at Toys "R" Us contaminated with lead, the paper reported today. After its own recent tests, a government agency did not move to recall the bib; Wal-Mart voluntarily removed bibs made by the same company... More »

20 Stories