Eco-Tip: Safe Bounce House Bouncing!

Bounce houses should be fun, not toxic. CEH is working hard to get hazardous lead out of these much-loved play structures but it’s not going to happen overnight. So what do you do about that bounce house birthday party coming up that your kids are so excited about?

CEH doesn’t want to spoil your kids’ or anyone’s bounce house fun—we just want to make sure that everyone is safe from lead threats.

Because there is no way for parents to tell whether a bounce house may have lead or not, parents should act as if any bounce house may have lead.  Sadly, there is no definitive list of “safe” or “dirty” bouncy houses or bounce house companies.  That’s why we’re giving you our best tips for safe bouncing, so:

1.  Kids must wash hands thoroughly with soap and water as soon as possible after bouncing. Before they eat! Just using a sanitizer won’t get rid of the lead. Wiping kids’ hands is better than nothing, but an old-fashioned soap and water wash is best.

2.  Have the kids wash their faces (especially very active kids who like face-planting in the bounce house).

3.  Once you get home (or as soon as possible), have the kids change clothes, and throw their worn clothes right into the wash.

Read New York Times story on our bounce house lawsuit.

Watch the KPIX News video on our sidebar, and read their story here.

Comments Closed


  1. karen roberts
    Posted August 16, 2010 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I sure would like more information on this bounce-house testing – for instance: how many bounce houses were tested in this study and what percentage were found to be over the 90-300 ppm level; what method of testing was used; why does Ninja Jump company claim (on their website)that all of their jumpy’s are “lead free” less than 90 ppm (I believe they are the parent company of two of the defendents named)? Is the “lead” embedded in the vinyl and to what degree is it really conveyed via surface contact? If the limits are really 70 times over, why do you say that washing up afterward is adequate???????

  2. Gabriele Roush
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    Karen, I hope someone post answers to the issues you brought up. We have the same concerns and cannot find adequate reassuring answers from anyone.

  3. Moriah Cohen
    Posted August 19, 2010 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

    Hi folks -
    sorry for the delay, I wrote the following response a few days ago but somehow it didn’t get posted.

    We rented about 30 bounce houses, as any parent might for their child’s party. All but one of the rented bounce houses had lead above federal limits, and almost all were well above the legal limit.

    We tested the bounce houses using an XRF analyzer (see ). Lead is in the vinyl used ]to make bounce houses, but it is not “embedded.” We did “wipe” tests using an independent lab, and these tests showed that lead comes off of bounce houses, at levels that violate CA law.

    We found high levels of lead in bounce houses from each of the companies named in our lawsuit, and in some from Ninja Jump (see the list at ). Ninja Jump has been very cooperative and willing to reach an agreement to end the problem, and thus was not named in the lawsuit.

    Unfortunately, it is not possible to tell by knowing the name of the manufacturer whether or not a bounce house may have too much lead (in other words, not being on the list is not an endorsement of safety).

    Lead exposure to kids comes primarily from hand-to-mouth contact. Parents can best avoid any lead exposure from bounce houses by avoiding them. If parents allow kids to play in bounce house, we suggest that they be sure to wash their child’s hands thoroughly immediately after, and wash their faces (and wash their clothes as soon as you get home)

  4. Posted November 29, 2010 at 2:12 am | Permalink

    This is great, so kids can still use bouncy houses, despite concerns.

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  1. By Lead In Bounce Houses | on August 16, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    [...] nonprofit organizations found lead in our beloved childhood summer activities. On August 11th, 2010 the Center for Environmental Health announced a lawsuit to stop the sale of bounces houses that contain lead. These inflatable gems [...]