Articles Posted in Lead Products

In an audit released late last month, the inspector general for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) reported that a southern Illinois housing authority failed to test for and safely remedy lead-based paint, while also allowing residents to live in units with little heat, and mold, rat, and roach infestations. The agency’s own investigative division also said that HUD has been aware of the problems since 2010 and failed to intervene for fear of bringing unwanted attention upon themselves.

With 109 housing authorities in the state of Illinois and HUD’s own inspector general calling out their inadequacy, many are wondering whom else the agency is failing to protect.

Housing Authority Discriminated Against Black Residents, Employees

Our Chicago personal injury attorneys have long since known of the dangers that lead poisoning can cause to individuals, and children in particular. Nevertheless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently reduced its threshold level for defining the amount of lead in the blood stream that is sufficient to be classified as lead poisoning in children. According to MSNBC, this is the first such reduction in 20 years.

The CDC released a statement claiming that “the recommendation was based on a growing number of scientific studies showing that even low blood lead levels can cause lifelong health effects.” This new “reference value” for lead poisoning was based on the population of U.S. children aged 1 to 5 years whose blood lead levels are in the highest 2.5 percent of children tested, said the CDC. The newly established base level for defining lead poisoning is 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, as opposed to the previous standard of 10.

The CDC’s level-adjustment means that more children are classified as having lead poisoning under the new benchmark; approximately 450,000 U.S. children aged 1 to 5 have blood lead levels above the new standard, up from 250,000 with lead levels greater than 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood under the previous threshold, said MSNBC.

Talk about a kiss of death.

According to a recent report by the Los Angeles Times, the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is raising concern over findings from the FDA showing that popular brands of lipstick contain trace amounts of lead. However, despite the fact that the levels of lead have doubled since the last time that the FDA looked into this branch of the cosmetics industry, government officials are insisting that the findings are not a cause for concern. Nevertheless, a physician on behalf of the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics stated that “lead builds up in the body over time and lead-containing lipstick applied several times a day, every day, can add up to significant exposure levels.”

The Campaign for Safe Cosmetics is a coalition of public health, educational, religious, labor, women’s, environmental, and consumer groups whose goal is to protect the health of consumers and workers by requiring the health and beauty industry to phase out additives that have been linked to cancer and other serious adverse health consequences. One of the Campaign’s major platforms is advocating that the government set limits for lead levels in lipstick.

Manufacturers of motorcycles are likely to be subject to the new anti-lead law that has kept dirt bikes and ATVs for kids off of the showroom floors. Staff at the Consumer Product Safety Commission have decided against recommending an exemption for ATVs and dirt bikes. The new law was intended to prevent injuries from unsafe products and keep lead away from young children by banning the metal from products for kids 12 years and under.

To read more about the lead law’s application.

Stay calm, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, those vintage books you have are probably not hazardous to your children. Nevertheless, a new federal law banning more than minute levels of lead in most products intended for children under the age of 12 has prompted at least two libraries to pull children’s books printed before 1986 from their shelves. Lead poisoning is a serious product liability issue and can lead to irreversible learning disabilities and behavioral problems.

To read more about the potential risk of children’s books.

Remember earlier this month, the presence of lead in toys was all over the news. Everyone was concerned that with the holiday seasons, kids would receive lead-laden toys. Then, regulations were passed overwhelmingly limiting the lead allowed in toys. Today, there was another update in the lead toys saga. The Consumer Product Safety Commission staff members have recommended that the agency exempt some natural materials from the lead testing requirements in order to relieve financial burden on toymakers in these tough economic times.

For the full article.

During the holiday season, many parents buy toys for their children. This year, the CPSC is urging parents to check its website prior to purchase to avoid product liability. Toys present safety concerns and some recently have been found to contain lead. Even after the holidays, parents should frequently and routinely check the recall list.

For the full article.

The Illinois Public Interest Research Group (IPIRG) has issued its annual Survey of Toy Safety. This year’s report focuses on toxic toys and it particularly warns against toys that contain phthalates, a chemical used to soften plastics. Phthalates are often used to make the plastic in teething toys, bath books and rubber duckies soft and flexible, but the chemicals are suspected of causing reproductive and developmental problems, especially in boys. Congress has passed legislation this year, to take effect on February 1, 2009, that bans 6 types of phthalates.

The group also warned of toys that pose choking hazards and those that contain lead and magnets. The Illinois Attorney General warns that if more than one magnet is swallowed, they can attract to each other, causing severe personal injuries such as intestinal perforations or blockages which can result in permanent intestinal damage and can be fatal if not treated immediately.

To check the safety of your children’s toys, check the Illinois Attorney General’s 2008 Children’s Product Recall Guide, by clicking here. View the IPIRG report, by clicking here. To read the full story, click here.

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