Thursday, September 20, 2007
Another lead contaminated product - but no recall
Vinyl school lunch boxes may contain unacceptably high levels of lead. The Consumer Product Safety Commission knows this and doesn't seem to really care.
A few states have put recalls into place in the last two years, among them California, Illinois, Connecticut and New York. But as of last year there was still no movement by the federal government on the issue.
The FDA issued a warning, but the CPSC did its best to negate it. The difference of opinion between the two agencies depended upon testing methods. The FDA, using more strident methods discovered some childrens lunch boxes contained as much as 9600 part per million of lead. To be LEGAL they are not supposed to exceed 600. Connecticut places the limit at 100 ppm. As opposed to tearing open the lunch box and dissolving it in solution, which was the FDA's method, the CPSC did a simple swab test of the questionable lunchboxes. They repeatedly swabbed the same area so that as they tested lead levels actually decreased.
In addition, some children's lunch boxes contain a tag that may say "tested lead free" or something similar. There are reports that the methodology behind these claims could not be reproduced or backed up, so that in essence if you have such a tag you shouldn't believe it.
For more information see: http://www.parentdish.com/2007/02/20/lead-in-lunch-boxes-but-no-cpsc-recall/
and to find out how to test your child's lunch box see: