Wal-Mart and Target: Free Lead Ain’t As Cheap As It Used to Be

surprisedboyfull_sq_250As the quotable catcher used to say:  It’s like déjà vu all over again.

Lead is still in kids’ products, and Wal-Mart and Target are still peddling the dirty goods.  And if the past continues to do the Yogi Berra, these retail giants will tell you that lead isn’t a problem and that Wal-Mart and Target (the po’, widdow companies) are at the mercy of overseas suppliers, who really should bear the blame for any lead hazards lurking on the mega retailers’ shelves.

For years, major manufacturers and retailers, including the big W and T, said they could meet safe lead standards, if only there was a consistent standard.  Well congratulations, fellas; you got your wish:  in 2008 Congress established the first-ever national standard for lead in children’s products.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it. 

It’s called Three Hundred Parts Per Million.  Any kids’ product with lead above that level now violates the federal law you asked for.

Target, your kids’ belt, testing at over 14 times this standard, is illegal.

Wal-Mart, your girls’ slip-on shoe and your kid’s poncho, testing at over four and two times the standard, are illegal.

And worse than illegal, they represent a totally unnecessary threat to children’s health.

With billions of dollars at your disposal, why can’t you get it right?  Are you trying and failing?  Or are you just not trying?

And let’s not forget, guys, that these items are being sold under your stores’ labels.  According to the law that (did I mention?) you asked for, you had the responsibility to have these items tested by an independent, third party lab.  Where is that data?  Why won’t you release it?  Did you even do the tests?  Talk to me, babes.

And while you’re at it, do the right thing and kick in to a testing fund for small-scale, independent manufacturers, who make wonderful products but don’t sell enough of them to be able to afford to have them tested.  Let me rephrase that:  mom-and-pop toymakers can’t afford to do the tests to address the problem that you retail titans created.

Bottom line:  Wal-Mart and Target know the legal limit for lead in children’s products, and they have the power and financial resources to meet that standard.  But once again, they are failing kids.

How can they expect us to trust them in the future?  They’ve fooled us once already. . .

Want to take action?  Click here for a quick and easy way to give Wal-Mart and Target a piece of your mind.

(Concerned about lead problems in kids’ products you already own?  CEH will test your items for free beginning in December.  Check our website for drop-in hours.)

Comments Closed

2 Comments

  1. nicholas
    Posted November 29, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Would the small-scale manufacturers have to test every item they sell? If it’s just truly random spot checking with each bach of products they produce, the lead test kits linked to in your sidebar are only $4 per test.

  2. Posted December 3, 2009 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Test swabs are not an acceptable testing method for toy makers under the federal law. Testing costs can be burdensome for small businesses, which is why we have supported a fund that would help them afford testing, paid by the toy companies and retailers that were sued in 2007 by several states for their lead-tainted toys.

One Trackback

  1. [...] year, the Center for Environmental Health found high levels of lead in hundreds of handbags, purses, wallets and other accessories purchased from do…. This week, we announced our legal settlement with more than forty major companies, including [...]