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    Stop buying toys made in China

    Thomaswoodencat This week’s revelations that toys and jewelry made in China contain high levels of lead  is the last straw. It's time to stop buying toys made in China.

    The story in USA Today about the crisis is particularly alarming. In the last four years, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued 27 recalls for children’s jewelry made in China due to high lead levels in paint or other health threats. On June 13, 2007, the CPSC recalled 1.5 million Thomas the Tank Engine wooden railway toys produced over the last two and half years because high lead levels were detected in the paint used to decorate the trains. Other toys manufactured in China have been found to contain kerosene.

    USA Today reports that, despite known developmental delays, IQ impairments, and impact on healthy kidney and liver function, the Chinese government told the CPSC that it's unnecessary to limit the lead content in the products it manufactures for kids because it believes much of the lead wouldn't seep out of jewelry so would "do little harm for children."

    Maybe the Chinese didn’t hear about the 20,000 kids who were treated for lead poisoning between 2000 and 2005 thanks to the toys and jewelry they chewed on and, in some cases, swallowed.

    We should not put our kids' health and safety on the line just so they can play with a few trinkets. You can find wonderful alternatives at local crafts fairs or online at our sister site,

    And next time you visit Toys R Us? Tell them you’re not buying toys imported from China until China shows it cares about kids by getting the lead out of its toys.


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    Gift of Green

    What's doubly discouraging about this news, is that the wooden Thomas trains (not to mention other trains not linked to a television show) are such a lovely, non-battery-operated, use-your-imagination, type of toy. I'm sure parents who valued these trains for precisely that reason are feeling duped times two.

    Diane MacEachern

    You are so right. I really hope parents will pressure Toys R Us, Wal-Mart, and other toy stores start carrying safer alternatives.

    Gift of Green

    Diane - Now Mattel is recalled dozens of Sesame Street and NickJr.-related merchandise. I only wish I had listened to you back in June. I am now in the process of participating in the recall. Sigh.

    Bridgette Cahill

    My husband and I have been concerned with lead in toys from China ever since my now 14 year olds Barney raincoat was recalled, years ago, for 1000x the legal limit of lead. Last week we brought home a new puppy. Our vet stressed "no dog toys from china" because of the lead. It struck me as odd, I have 4 children and no pediatrician had ever stressed this danger concerning any of our babys.


    Where can we go to organize ourselves as parents concerned for the safety of our children - and demand higher quality and accountability for those companies whose focus is on providing entertainment for children?


    It's beyond scary and frustrating. I will do my best to not buy toys from China for my 2 1/2 year old twins, but as they get older that will probably be increasingly more difficult to do.

    chireen deking

    I am outraged and have set a goal for myself, to shop carefully to avoid anything made in China and for Christmas this year, only made in the usa, unfortunately it will be difficult. Sad isn't it??

    Connie Jeffus

    Don't send the toys back. That's what they want you to do....then if something happens, you have no proof. Just pack them up in an airtight container and store them somewhere where no one can get to them.


    I know this post is old but the topic is still very current. When I was pregnant with my son in 2009, my husband and I did extensive research in the selection of the necessary “baby gear” we would need for our new arrival. Our main concern was to limit our child’s exposure to the many toxins found in everyday products. We selected organic goods, chose wood over plastic when possible, and avoided any items made in China. The “Made in China” label was a particularly ominous sign of danger to us as news of recent recalls on Chinese manufactured products flooded the headlines. Since then, I have started a personal challenge to look for American made products when shopping. I started blogging my progress, and recently wrote about American made toys. You can check out my findings here:
    Thanks for all the great resources on your site!

    Diane MacEachern

    Sarah, Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. I hope people will check out your website! Please keep in touch, and continue to share your findings with us.


    It scares me that toys have lead in them. There should never be any lead in any children's toys. Children put toys in their month all the time. The other concern is a child can't detoxify lead as good as a adult.

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