Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Lead-filled Lunchbox coverup

I wrote in a post a while back about lead in lunchboxes, and how our evidence-based group o' moms tested the ones we had on our shelves, with swab kits (that you can get in any hardware store) like the one shown here, and yes, a few came back positive.

We were doing this because the Consumer Products Safety Commission was saying how dumb we were to believe THEIR OWN REPORTS, that it was only a miniscule amount (big deal, we're just talking about little kids and their brain health, here), but now check out this out (Associated Press via CNN.com):
(AP) In 2005, when government scientists tested 60 soft, vinyl lunchboxes, they found that one in five contained amounts of lead that medical experts consider unsafe -- and several had more than 10 times hazardous levels.

But that's not what they told the public.

Instead, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a statement that they found 'no instances of hazardous levels.' And they refused to release their actual test results, citing regulations that protect manufacturers from having their information released to the public.

That data was not made public until The Associated Press received a box of about 1,500 pages of lab reports, in-house e-mails and other records in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed a year ago.

The documents describe two types of tests. One involves cutting a chunk of vinyl off the bag, dissolving it and then analyzing how much lead is in the solution; the second test involves swiping the surface of a bag and then determining how much lead has rubbed off.

The results of the first type of test, looking for the actual lead content of the vinyl, showed that 20 percent of the bags had more than 600 parts per million of lead -- the federal safe level for paint and other products. The highest level was 9,600 ppm, more than 16 times the federal standard.

But the CPSC did not use those results.

Read more here.


Miranda said...

Is it naive to ask, how can this be legal? Somebody should sue.

Green Fertility Marie said...

It's quite flabbergasting, isn't it?