Checking Toys For Lead Paint

By: Jessa Goddard
By: Jessa Goddard

Knoxville (WVLT) -- Protecting your children from toxins has been even more important over the last few months.

In just the last week, at least seven separate toy recalls have been added to the record-long list.

Yesterday, the Consumer Product Safety Commission added 600,000 toys to the list of products containing unlawful levels of lead.

Many parents are concerned that some potentially dangerous toys are getting by them, so they're turning to products that test lead levels.

But do they work?

We talked to a local doctor about it.

"It is a screening test, and that's how it should be looked at," said Dr. Pat O'Brien, from UT Medical Center. "If you get a positive at that point, then you need to do something further to confirm things, and that would be to test the child."

Dr. O'Brien helped us put the lead check to the test.

"This looks pretty easy to do," he said. "Crush at two points, shake and squeeze the tube for 30 seconds. If it turns pink or red it's positive."

Lead Check is designed to detect lead on painted wood, metal surfaces and in this case toys.

"It should almost immediately change color, if there's lead," he said.

You can buy lead check for less than $4 at most home improvement stores.

The manufacturer says Lead Check is not intended to replace an inspection by a licensed lead inspector or testing laboratory.

Dr. O'Brien says in East Tennessee, parents should be more concerned about the lead-based paint which is common in older homes.

In fact experts say it's present in near 24 million homes.

It is the primary reason why more than 400,000 U.S. children below the age of five have levels of lead in their bodies high enough to cause concern.


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